Fast-track the CBD loop campaign

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A new group has been created called “Fast-track the CBD loop“, and will launch on Monday 26th July at Britomart. They say:

The CBD Rail Loop is a crucial part of the solution to Auckland’s transport woes, and one which should be pushed ahead as quickly as possible. Transforming Britomart from a terminus to a through station will unlock the capacity of the rail network across the region – allowing it to carry more passengers, with greater reliability and frequency of services.

The CBD Rail Loop is also an essential first step toward other important extensions of the rail network – such as a rail link to Auckland Airport, the North Shore and from South to West Auckland. It will also transform the Auckland Central Business District, bringing thousands more people and jobs into the area.

Our Fast-Track the CBD Rail Loop campaign aims to raise public awareness to get a greater sense of urgency towards this project from central and local government and the needed investment.

Airport Rail Loop Designation

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Concerned at the complete lack of progress in designating a rail corridor from Onehunga to Auckland Airport and continuing back to Wiri, the CBT wrote to Mayor Len Brown suggesting Manukau City start to look into it.

Mayor Brown has responded, indicating that a Memorandum of Understanding is being prepared between KiwiRail, Manukau City, ARTA, ARC and Auckland Airport to do exactly that. The exercise will be led by ARTA.

Full response is here.

CBT Election Results

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Committee election results from last Tuesday’s AGM are:

  • Convenor: Cameron Pitches
  • Secretary: Dr Graham Bush
  • Treasurer: Ross Galloway


  • Cr Graeme Easte
  • Garth Houltham
  • Jon Reeves
  • Jennifer Northover
  • Josh Arbury
  • Jeremy Harris

I’m sure I speak for everyone in thanking Barry Palmer for his years of support for the CBT, and before that decades of effort he put into initiatives such as the Light Rail Transit Association and his own personal battles against Auckland’s roading mentality.  Barry retires from the Committee due to ill-health.

KiwiRail short-lists electric train tenders

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An exciting media release from KiwiRail:

KiwiRail has announced a short list of four potential suppliers to build Auckland’s new electric trains.

Each of the short-listed manufacturers will now have the opportunity to provide feedback into the technical requirements and specifications for the rolling stock before a full set of RFP (Request for Proposal) documents are released to them in August, Mr Quinn says.

The four rolling stock manufacturers are Hitachi Limited; Hyundai Rotem; Bombardier Transportation Australia Pty Limited; and a consortium of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, SA. (CAF) and Mitsubishi Corporation, KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn, said today.

Big dig is all done

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The Manukau Courier reports the 300 metres long by seven metres deep and up to 18 metres wide rail trench in Manukau has now been completed  on the $42 million Manukau rail link.

The Effect of Deregulation on Railway’s Profitability in NZ

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An historical perspective by Gordon Bonetti, CBT Member

The Maori people of New Zealand have a very apt proverb, “Mata a muri kei te aro ke!”Loosely translated it means, “ To find the way forward we must first look back into the past.”So it was from this viewpoint that this article was compiled.

NZ Herald’s editorial of 20th May “We’re Stuck with Kiwi Rail,like it or Not” twice makes the statement, “Rail has not paid its way for generations,if ever.”  Historically, there is evidence this is incorrect.  Transport archives reveal that from 1965 to 1970 NZ Govt. Railways actually ran profits totaling $16 million, had a surplus again in the early 1980s then made a record profit of $23.9 million in 1984. So,whilst a state run operation in a regulated environment where road & rail were co-ordinated, rail was profitable.  However, despite warnings to the contrary, the Bolger Government continued to implement the Transport (1983 ) Amendment Act, further progressing the Douglas-era “freemarket” deregulation model. Thus evolved the present transport shambles we have today. Eventually by 1990 in the cut-throat, free-for- all transport market which evolved, rail was $1.3 million in debt. (The Bolger Govt trunk electrification cost $300m of this.) So in October 1990 Govt. wrote off the debt from the Railways Corporation & injected new capital to form a separate entity NZ Rail Ltd. This company made a profit of $36.2m in 1992 and $18.0m in 1993.

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