Media release: 20 November 2012
In another step towards world-class public transport infrastructure across Auckland, Auckland Transport is looking at options for an extension of the electrification of the rail network as far south as Pukekohe. Previously it was only intended to electrify the lines to Papakura.
The proposal is to look at options, including funding, for electrification to Pukekohe. This would see trains running from Pukekohe to Britomart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at other times.
Mayor Len Brown has welcomed the investigation saying it would mean people in Franklin would be able to enjoy the full benefits of the electrification of the rail network, our new electric trains and the City Rail Link along with the rest of Auckland.
"This would mean quieter, faster and more efficient trains all the way to Pukekohe. This is another example of us working to ensure people across the region enjoy the benefits of a united Auckland.”
Mr Brown says “Pukekohe is identified in the Auckland Plan as a key regional centre for future residential and business growth, which will have a rapidly growing need to move people to and from homes and jobs in the area.”
Auckland Transport says significant population growth between Drury and Pukekohe makes the electrification viable. The area’s population is predicted to more than treble in the next 30 years to close to 80,000.
Franklin Local Board chairman Andy Baker says “This is something we have been advocating for and the community has been wanting for a long time. We are extremely pleased that the investigation is happening now as it makes sense to do the work while we have contractors and systems in place to build Auckland’s electric rail network. “
Electrification to Pukekohe is estimated to cost $102.3m. Close to $19m has already been set aside in Auckland Transport’s Long Term Plan. The project would see new Park and Ride facilities and stations at Paerata and Drury and a major station upgrade at Pukekohe, the purchase of two additional 3-car EMUs, the raising of three bridges and track lowering at one location.
There will be a net saving of $2m per year if the diesel engines to Pukekohe are replaced with electric ones.
A fleet of 57 three-car electric train sets is currently being built by Spanish firm Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), suppliers of electric trains and light rail fleets to a large percentage of European markets and metropolitan customers around the world.
Auckland’s new electric trains have been designed to meet the specific needs of those travelling around Auckland and feature the latest state-of-the-art technology in terms of safety, comfort and reliability. The first electric train is due to arrive in Auckland in the third quarter of 2013 and will undergo significant testing before going into public service in 2014.