It’s great to hear that the government has now agreed to support the City Rail Link, after a couple of years of dragging its feet. We’ll have more to say on the detail of their plans over the next few days – in fact, we may have to wait till Friday to hear the full announcement – but after watching TV3 news last night, I’m thoroughly sick of hearing the word “loop”. This is familiar ground for our regular readers, so this post is more for the people who may have just stumbled across the website.
The City Rail Link is not a “loop”. Trains are not going to go around in circles in the CBD. There are still plenty of people who think that’s what’s going to happen – and we can’t blame them given that the media keeps calling it a loop, and when TV3 runs graphics like the one it had last night – but it’s not. For more info, see Matt’s post here:
What the link does is turn Britomart from a “dead end” to a “through station”. This lets the train network run at much better frequencies, everywhere it runs around Auckland. It makes it easier to get from Pukekohe to Henderson, or Mt Eden to Manukau, or make a wide variety of other trips. Again, it’s worth digging around on this blog to find out more – check out the “City Rail Link” tab at the top of each page for starters.
In the image below, from Auckland Transport’s CRL page, you can see what the running patterns may look like post-CRL, and how the lines will probably work. New stations are created at Aotea, K Road and Newton – which, incidentally, will greatly increase the CBD’s growth potential – but also, it becomes possible to combine some of the existing lines, and make it much easier to travel around Auckland by train.
This project does several things:
1) It removes a major bottleneck in the train network – like if we had the rest of our motorways but no Harbour Bridge.
2) It lets trains run faster and more frequently throughout the city.
3) It frees up capacity for more routes to be added later (e.g. rail to the North Shore or airport).
4) It helps with congestion on the roads, and gives more people a way to avoid this congestion.
5) It improves access to the CBD.
6) It reduces CO2 emissions.
It’s a great project. And it’s not a loop.