Airport Rail Process Starts


Relevant Auckland parties are now moving to investigate an Auckland airport rail route and protect the link.

The ARC is entering into the necessary “Memorandum of Understanding” with KiwiRail, ARTA, the NZTA, Manukau City Council and Auckland International Airport Ltd to undertake a project to” investigate multi-modal transport routes to provide connections to the airport and to prepare the documentation for route protection.”

The project is to investigate how the requirements of each party can be met within the corridor and to prepare the documentation required to protect the route and determine

  • The long term State Highway footprint for SH20A and SH20B and connections to SH20, and a progression plan for infrastructure delivery
  • Rapid transit connections including station locations to the Airport, along the SH20, SH20A and SH20B alignments and the interface between these connections and the Auckland Airport passenger terminals
  • A progression plan for public transport infrastructure and service provision over the next 30 years
  • Long term corridor cycle and walking routes and linkages
  • Identifying current and potential future integrated transport / land use
  • opportunities along the multimodal connections to Auckland Airport

The indicative programme for the project is:

  • October    Tender contract for Study
  • Dec 2010/Feb 2011  Evaluate Tender
  • February/March 2011  Award Contract for Professional services
  • March 2011   Political Reference Group meeting
  • Contract timeframe  2011 to 2012

It can’t happen soon enough. But don’t hold your breath.

But this year’s ARTA / ARC  Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy, which recognises the need for commuter rail to the airport, included it in a plan of infrastructure improvements between 2021 and 2041.




  1. jarbury says:

    This is a very very important step forward for this project. It basically sets the wheels in motion to protect the route, come up with detailed designs and prepare a business case analysis.

    Pretty exciting actually.

  2. Jordan says:

    Fantastic news about an airport rail link…but cycle and bus lanes to the airport?? Really?

  3. rtc says:

    Why not? Plenty of people live in the area who would cycle there to work for instance, and buses still need to get to the airport. A cycle lane is hardly an expensive thing to build, why even debate its need….

  4. DanC says:

    Is it really that hard for a modern city to build a rail line of 9 k’s to the countries largest airport?

  5. Steve W says:

    Good to read news of this “rail designation” proceeding, perhaps the designation of the CBD Tunnel and harbour crossings are close to completion Jon?

  6. anthony says:

    9km? 9KM?

    good god as I havent been to Auckland much i never realised all this debate is over for 9 kms of rail.
    I thought it would have been at least 20kms.

    Forgive my ignorance.

  7. rtc says:

    Yeah it’s all about a 9km railway line. In reality the only debate is the fact that central government says that finding the funds to build 2-3 billion dollar roads is no problem but refuses to fund rail. Basically all parties aside from National and Act are in support of the CBD tunnel and rail to the airport……all we need is a change in government. Until then making sure it’s ready to be built as soon as money comes on stream is the best thing we can do - as well as making sure future developments in the area don’t prevent a rail line.

  8. Carl says:

    If there is some one looking into this, then i hope they have thinking cap on.

    man this really needs to be pushed through and started ASAP, it also should go in the other direction and link up with Manukau City’s (like the shopping centre) new station, thus making Manukau the Hub it was planned out to be, when it was designed 30 something years ago.

    A direct rail link to the Southern line will then also lure people from the South to use it.

    id most def happily catch the train from Pukekohe, switch wherever then catch the train to the airport.

    likewise id also be happy with a train to Manukau and a bus service from there to start out with.

    its not about the city and I hope they think about that, because the average person also fly’s in and out of Auckland!

  9. Matt L says:

    Carl - The high level plan which resulted from a study in 2008 is for the line to follow the motorway from Onehunga out to the airport and then head along Puhinui Rd to the southern line.

  10. Carl says:

    sorry my post was suppose to say “its not all about the city”. they way in which my post was written could possibly taken in the total wrong way.

  11. Joshua says:

    RTC - The problem with the other parties is, even tho they claim to support rail, it wont get started until 3 terms down the track. Thats commenting on past experience with labour led governments.

    I guess my biggest problem with labour is none of them have lived in the real world, so dont know how to be productive, dont know how to get things done.

  12. Kelvin says:

    Yep, exciting times - I suppose if they want to bid for the 2020 Olympics they’ll need it in place to stand any chance of getting the games here in the first place..

  13. ingolfson says:

    Um, yes, cycle lanes to an employment area of over 10,000 people, and growing. Yes indeed.

    In fact, there ARE already cycle lanes pretty much all the way, both from the north and the east. What we are talking here is the opportunity to make them cycle paths - off-road. Perfect for such really, few side roads.

    As for the rail, good stuff, though I am not seeing the rail construction vehicles yet! In fact, I have heard that one of Steven Joyce’s real dreams is a true motorway to the airport. That’s the kind of legacy he wants to leave (I’m not being cynical, just stating how he’s reputed to feel about this).

  14. ingolfson says:

    “I guess my biggest problem with labour is none of them have lived in the real world, so dont know how to be productive, dont know how to get things done.”

    That’s about as negative as saying that no National person has ever used public transport. In fact, it is even more negative.

  15. Joshua says:

    ingolfson - “no National person has ever used public transport.” cant argue lol, I have however seen Steven Joyce on a train, not by choice of course :)

  16. Mac says:

    The problem with rail in NZ is there hasn’t been one leader who has a passion or vision for rail, and without that, you don’t get progress.

    Auckland has grown up and around the existing rail infrastructure, with little or no thought given to expanding rail services. In fact, rail services were cut back in the 80s and 90s.

    Now we have to make space for trains, which is not the right way to have rail in a modern city.
    A line to the airport is an absolute necessity.


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