Helensville’s Last Days


Back in July, I asked if the weekday Helensville to Auckland service could survive?

“Any day now, there will be an official review of the Helensville – Auckland rail link which opened for a trial service in July last year. Sadly, it’s going to take forward-thinking courage from the regional transport authority to continue it. The last published figures showed an average of only 25 passengers per trip.”

Last train for Clarksville is waiting at the station...

Then last month came the news that the axe would indeed fall.

The facts: a total of 8,028 passenger trips were taken over the 12-month trial, an average of 43 passengers per day across the three services combined, The level of patronage achieved falls below the stated ARTA success factor of 80 passenger trips per day.

The problem wasn’t just about numbers.

As debated widely at the time, there was a range of problem issues including the times and duration of the journeys and availability of Britomart berthing.
ARTA’s review of the trial considered a range of options, including
 changes to departure times, provision of additional services during peak and interpeak 
periods, provision of weekend services, provision of shuttle services, and
additional services terminating at Huapai.

Most of these options were rejected
 because they would not be cost effective, or would disrupt other Western line
services unacceptably.

However, the review identified an option that could be considered for a limited trial,
that “may result in some patronage gains”. This option involves the provision of
 additional services terminating at Huapai, with the additional costs to be offset by
discontinuing rail services to Waimauku and Helensville.

The ARTA review found that Huapai has been the most popular station during the Helensville rail trial.

Anyway, whatever happens with the Huapai idea, this is the obituary of sorts as, on Thursday, the last 5.30pm train heads out of the Britomart tunnel for Helensville.

Au revoir. It was worth an experiment.

Related Posts

  1. Grim Facts Behind Helensville Service Failing
  2. Helensville - Auckland train service canned
  3. Will Helensville Rail Service Survive?
  4. No trains for 3 days: An essential guide to how to use a RailBus
  5. ARC Chairman Threatens To Terminate NZ Bus Contract




  1. nzbcfanboi says:

    I guess I should ask if anyone is going to ride the train on Thursday I’m sort of thinking about doing it


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