This is a significant milestone in Auckland’s growth and development. The City Rail Link is an integral part to the wider transport network and the penetration of the CBD by rail will have a significant impact on accessibility, particularly for commuters.
Over the past ten years in my role at Beca I have supported Auckland Transport ( and its predecessor organisations) through the various stages of the City Rail Link (CRL) project - from the days of scoping and inception, through option evaluation and selection of the preferred option, and more recently the designation under the Resource Management Act to secure the route. Consequently, it is gratifying after such a long involvement to see the project gaining the support of the New Zealand government with the Prime Minister’s announcement of the $2.5billion investment to allow early construction of the project.
This is a significant milestone in Auckland’s growth and development. The City Rail Link will create an underground rail connection between Britomart and Mt Eden stations on the Western Line and will feature a new station in Albert Street (Aotea) and a new station at Karangahape Road. Mt Eden Station will also be expanded to service the city trains. The link is an integral part to the wider transport network and the penetration of the CBD by rail will have a significant impact on accessibility, particularly for commuters. For instance, the Beca office is a 25 minute walk from Britomart - with the CRL we will have a two-minute walk to a station at Karangahape Rd that connects directly metropolitan rail network . It will be releasing the bottleneck that is created by the terminus at Britomart (a terminus station acts like a cul-de-sac) but with the CRL, train services can continue ‘through’ the station – removing a significant capacity constraint on the network).
The thing to remember with the CRL is that it will enable so much more - it truly will make Auckland more attractive as a business destination, as it will not only help transform the already burgeoning city centre but will support residential and employment growth (through improved access) in and around the metropolitan and town centres of the city – adding to Auckland’s attraction as a competitive city in the global region.
Investment in infrastructure like the CRL, and the East West Connection also included in the government announcement, is a substantial boost to improve the investment in public transport and major transport connections needed to support Auckland’s future growth as a sustainable, liveable and competitive city.