by Russel Norman
Two small good news stories for the Auckland rail network today. Firstly the Onehunga branch line is to be reopened by 2009 for passengers and freight. This is coming out of money approved in Dec 2005. It will cost $10m to get it out of mothballs.
Secondly, the Auckland Regional Council Transport Committee voted to support ONTRACK’s proposal to improve the Newmarket station, so there is agreement between the regional and national rail planners.
Now we just need central government support for electrification of the Auckland rail network….
Congrats to everyone involved, especially the Onehunga citizens who organised the petition to stop the rail track being ripped up, Mike Lee and Joel Cayford from the ARC, ARTA, the Auckland public transport campaigners, and the Greens who have been pushing public transport against a road obsessed Labour, National, NZFirst, United Future, and Act dominated parliament.
Re Newmarket he ARC press release says:
Committee chairman Joel Cayford said the proposed dual-island Newmarket solution gave the rail network greater capacity to carry both passengers and freight.
“This solution makes running trains every 10-minutes possible once the double-tracking of the Western line is complete. It also gives future flexibility to run services directly between the west and south.
“Altering the track layout at the northern end of Newmarket removes the need for Western line services to undertake a ‘three-point-turn’. There will also be a bypass track for express and special event services.”