The latest KiwiRail newsletter has some interesting insights into Auckland’s electrification project – and specifically the announcement of funding for that project’s trains last week. A couple of extracts:
A few thoughts. Firstly, it is disappointing that a contract won’t be awareded until the end of next year. Considering that the original contract by ARTA would have been announced many months ago now (it was put out for tender around the end of last year), it would seem as though the electrification project has been effectively delayed by about 18 months. Secondly, it’s interesting to hear that the plan is for the EMUs to run on the Eastern Line and the Western Line, with the SA Trains – to be pulled by electric locomotives – running on the Southern Line. I thought the widest tation spacing was on the Eastern Line myself, where loco-pulled trains might have been best suited. It very much seems as though the plan is for the same bunch of trains to run along their particular line, which I guess could make things easier and simpler for the operation of the network. Thirdly, it’s good to hear that the final outcome will be a system with the same level of capacity as ARTA’s original proposal. The ‘Working Group’s” compromise that we heard about in August/September was pretty ugly in terms of reducing capacity quite significantly.
So it’ll be a while yet before we see any electric trains running in Auckland, but it’s good to start getting an idea about the details of how this ‘once in a lifetime’ project will happen. Thanks to Geoff_184 from the bettertransport.org.nz forums for sharing the newsletter.