ARC Likes CBD Rail Loop Option


The ARC’s transport and urban development committee today formally agreed with ARTA and KiwiRail’s preferred option for a CBD rail loop.

That option has as its three station locations:  Symonds Street / Khyber Pass Road (Newton); at Karangahape Road / Pitt Street (Karangahape Road ); and at Albert Street / Wellesley Street (Aotea ).

It was chosen by the group assessing the options for reasons such as it being largely under public roads, the station locations were attractive for both redevelopment in the area and patronage, the route was 50m-60m shorter and therefore has lower construction costs. The route also contained the least number of curves and provides the opportunity to ease curve radii to greater than 200m, resulting in lower costs for the tunnel boring machine, better operational speed for the trains and reduced operating costs.

The preferred route does pass in close vicinity to listed heritage buildings at Karangahape Road and in Newton but the cost of any any underpinning is considered negligible in the context of the overall project costs and potential impact on heritage.

The project now progresses to Phase 2 - concept design work to identify a required footprint, and business case work to identify the benefits.  The timeframe for undertaking phase 2 is from now until September. Phase 3, preparation of the Notice of Requirement, is to be completed by December- after which the government response will be awaited as to where this fits into their thinking.

While today’s ARC discussion more of a formality involving an interested party, it at least continues to move it along the chain and keep it at top of mind for officials.

At Friday’s opening of the Grafton train station, ARC chair Mike Lee urged the government for it not to be “too long” before it considered the CBD loop.

Transport Minister, Steven Joyce, who was present when Mike Lee made his speech, later acknowledged Mike Lee’s call for a CBD loop, when he gave his speech.

He listed some of the projects currently underway and said  there were more that needed consideration “such as the one Mike Lee mentioned” and another Auckland harbour crossing.




  1. Kurt says:

    Nice dream but as has been said here before while this current transport minister and his road oriented government are in power this will never happen.

    Could use the money to build another holiday highway somewhere though.

  2. Cam says:

    Yep my guess is lip service will get paid to this project if the BCR comes out positive (in much the same way he acknowledged Mike Lee mentioning it). However it will be described as a project for the future and something that is not needed currently. If i was a betting man i’d say the Puhoi to Warkworth portion of the holiday highway will be completed before ground is even broken on the CBD loop. Anyone want to take that bet?

  3. Jeremy Harris says:

    Nope but Joshua or Susan may…

  4. rtc says:

    Agreed, with Joyce making press releases that rail isn’t paying for itself and doesn’t deserve any funding (unlike trucks which deserve to be subsidised by local government), it’s pretty unlikely that this will be on the agenda any time soon. Perhaps during the next election cycle this could be pushed as a must do, but it will be difficult to get National to committ to anything more than selling off Kiwirail or loading it with even more debt. If if they did commit to building it, they will probably do what they’re doing with the new trains, guaranteeing a loan to Kiwirail and thereby not actually providing any money at all.


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