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Greater Auckland calls for inter-regional train network

Lobby group, Greater Auckland has launched a proposal for Regional Rapid Rail – an Upper North Island Passenger Network. According to Greater Auckland, with Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty now comprising over 50% of New Zealand’s population and 70% of future growth, there needs to be a step change in intercity transit to leverage this growth proactively.

The report’s authors, Harriet Gale and Nicolas Reid, say that with the Waikato Expressway almost complete, the missing link is complementary rail corridors. The transport bloggers propose a Regional Rapid Rail: a three-stage proposal to upgrade the existing trunk rail corridors for higher speed intercity trains.

The strategic goals of Regional Rapid Rail are to:

  • Connect major employment and population centres
  • Deliver a fast and competitive rail service
  • Provide a regular and frequent rail service
  • Make complementary improvements to the rail freight network
  • Assist the creation of affordable housing supply
  • Link regional transportation to well-planned communities with good urban outcomes
  • Integrate directly with local public transport, walking and cycling networks
  • Reduce road traffic injury and deaths
  • Ensure value for money for taxpayer investment

Regional Rapid Rail will revitalise the existing rail network using modern technology tilting trains travelling up to 160km/h on upgraded tracks. This will allow for much faster trains, providing quick and reliable journeys that are faster than driving and skip the traffic completely, say the report authors.

“This revitalised network will stitch together the economy of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, and extend the benefits of growth and development of the main centres to their nearby towns and villages” they explain.

To read the full report please click here.