Confusion reigns about the location of the Onehunga railway station, originally scheduled to open in December of this year.
According to officials from ARTA and the ARC, Ontrack are claiming there are insufficient funds to extend the railway line from Galway Street to the rail station site the ARCÂ purchased on Onehunga Mall, a distance of about 300 metres.
Back in 2007, Ontrack (now KiwiRail) considered that there were enough funds to rehabilitate the line as far as the waterfront boundary with the port of Onehunga.Â Â Since then, additional costs have apparently arisen due to the need to allow room for overhead electrical wires belowÂ the Neilson St overbridge.
Now other options are being considered, withÂ KiwiRail recommendingÂ a “temporary” station onÂ Prince Street, just short of Galway Street.
Other Onehunga line station locations are yet to be confirmed.
The Campaign for Better Transport is extremely disappointed with this outcome. Funding for the line was obtained just over two years ago, and while the track work is mostly complete, it seems that the ARC, ARTA and OntrackÂ are a long way away from the development of theÂ stations and the implementation of actual passenger services.
For Onehunga rail to be a success, there needs to be very strong integration with bus servicesÂ from Mangere and elsewhere around Onehunga. The ARC’s current site seems ideal for this with sufficient space for bus or “kiss and ride” transfers.
Additionally, ARTA have announced that services will not run direct to Britomart, for reasons that have not been specified.Â Instead Britomart boundÂ passengers will be forced to transfer at Newmarket.Â I can’t see this working well.Â This fails to capitilise on the primary benefit of Onehunga services interleaving with services on the main trunk line.
I’ll post again on this once I find out more.