Sometimes life under this government can be a bit of a downer. Money losing motorways here, cuts to benefits there… It’s easy to lose sight of the positive. So here’s some good transport news from Auckland:
1. The Wiri rail link opened a few weeks ago. This rail line runs from Port of Auckland (down in the CBD) through to the inland Wiri Port (near the airport). It will help to carry freight from one port to the other.
Once it’s up to full speed it is estimated that the rail link will take about 2.5 million truck kilometres per year off the road. That is equivalent to 100,000 less trips by truck through central Auckland. It will also help the heavy manufacturing firms based out near the airport to cut their emissions from transport by up to 25%. Pretty cool huh?
2. The Grafton Station opened. This is basically just a relocation of an existing station so it isn’t quite as exciting as the new Wiri line. However, according to John over at the Auckland Train blog the new station is very snazzy with electronic time tables, multiple entrances and lots of other nice features such as murals. It certainly looks a step up from the decrepit train stations I remember using in Auckland when I was a tadpole in the 1990s.
3. Electrification gets underway. Kiwirail has received the massive flatbed machine that they will need to start putting up the poles and wires to electrify Auckland’s rail network. So physical work should start on the network soon. The machine is all NZ made as well – even better!
4. The “missing link” of the North Western cycle way in Auckland will be opening this Thursday. This is great news for cyclists as it means there will be a continuous 12 km dedicated cycle path running all the way through from Te Atatu South straight into Newton Street. Next stop – the CBD!
Feeling more cheerful? I hope so.