The Rail Development Plan, published in 2006, sets out how Auckland will create a high-quality, high-frequency rail service by revitalising the Auckland rail system as part of an overall world-class transport system.
In 2006, the former Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) launched its Passenger Transport Network Plan to provide Aucklanders with public transport alternatives to the car and looked to achieve the objectives of the Regional Growth and Regional Land Transport strategies.
Revitalising Auckland’s rail assets is fundamental to rapidly moving large numbers of people, using a high-quality, high-frequency rail service. The rail system has been long neglected. But the opening of Britomart Transport Centre together with upgraded trains, track and stations resulted in major growth in rail patronage – up from 2.5 million journeys in 2003 to five million by June 2006.
The Government’s decision to invest $600 million over three years to upgrade track, stations and signalling will expand the capacity of Auckland’s rail infrastructure.
But predictions showed the Auckland train fleet would reach full capacity by 2008. New trains are needed to improve service frequencies, maintain patronage growth and to replace life-expired trains. The processes to purchase these trains will need to commence soon.
Purpose of the plan
This plan details the steps to revitalise the Auckland rail system as part of a world-class public transport system and documents the issues that ARTA has addressed in developing its rolling stock procurement strategy.
The plan looks at how Auckland’s rail system will contribute to economic development, to the way Auckland lives and moves, and to environmental sustainability.
Using and reviewing the plan
The plans outlined in this document are challenging and require collaboration between central and local government and industry to realise.
Investment needed to implement the Rail Development Plan is more than the funding that has been identified. If additional funding cannot be found, then trade-offs will be required which may impact on patronage growth, service quality and reliability.
A decision on new rolling stock is required now and the challenge is to determine how this plan will be implemented.