Friday 25th Sep, 2020

Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service to be considered by councils

A passenger service between Hamilton and Auckland may be up and running by 2020, after Waikato Regional Transport Committee last week voted unanimously to include the proposed service in its local land transport plan.

New Zealand transport minister said today that Waikato councils are considering the project the business case, which was approved by the New Zealand Transport Agency and is priced at $57.77 million over the next three years.

“Instead of transport investment trying to play catch up, we need to lead growth and shape our towns and cities,” said Twyford.

“More people are commuting between Hamilton and Auckland, and introducing this service will give them a choice in how they do that.”

The service would be operated by KiwiRail and start in March 2020. It would include a northbound morning peak service and a southbound evening peak service.

“It would stop at Frankton, The Base, Huntly and Papakura. The Huntly platform would need to be upgraded and a new island platform would be needed at The Base,” Twyford said.

“It would start with a four-carriage train which can carry 150 passengers each way. As demand grows, it would be expanded to a five-carriage train carrying up to 200 passengers.”

The NZTA Board will consider whether to fund the proposed start-up passenger rail service in December after the councils have made their decisions.

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