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Express vs All Stop Trains

There has been a bit of comment on the blog recently questioning how Auckland runs it’s rail system. In particular around the whether the city should be running express trains or not. In this post I’m going to look at some of the positives and negatives on both sides of the argument. I’m mainly going to be thinking about this from a post electrification point of view so just looking at the network between Swanson and Papakura.

The Auckland’s rail network seems like it’s at a funny size, it’s neither a metro type system made up of lines 10-15km in length but with the exception of Papakura and Pukekohe isn’t really a super long distance commuter network either. Instead it’s somewhere awkwardly in between and made worse particularly on the western line by close station spacing which can make trips quite slow. A trip to Swanson is 27km while Papakura is 31km. We also know we also know from the comparison of the Auckland and Wellington networks that the average trip is about 13.7km in length.

Auckland Rail Network

The key benefit to express services is speed. We know that the vast majority of people are going to the city centre and so if we can get them to that destination faster it can help make services more competitive attractive. More attractive services should also mean more patronage which is obviously a good thing.

But how much time do they save. The figures below are from old timetables from when Auckland used to run express trains.

Southern Line

From To Stopping At Minutes Saving
Papakura Britomart All Stops 53
Papakura Britomart Manurewa, Newmarket 38 15
Papakura Britomart All stations to Otahuhu 45 8

Western Line

From To Stopping At Minutes Saving
Swanson Britomart All Stops 53
Swanson Britomart All stations to New Lynn, Newmarket 49 4

As you can see the savings on the southern line aren’t too bad for the first of the express services on the southern line however the train is only able to achieve that by only stopping at 2 of the 14 stations along the way. In the case of the second express service the train stops at 8 of the 14 stations along the route. On the western line is actually quite small despite skipping all of the closely spaced inner stations, it skips seven stations all up.

Skipping stations isn’t ideal but can be worked around, especially if like New York where there are extra tracks which means the express services don’t affect the frequency of the all stopping trains. However in Auckland that isn’t the case. Further due to the limitations of Britomart we can only run 20 trains per hour on the network divided up as 6 trains per direction per hour on the Western, Southern and Eastern lines and 2 trains per direction per hour on the Onehunga line. Any express train that we run has to come at the expense of one of those services and that’s where the problems really start to come in as any express trains end up lowering the frequency to stations not served by both running patterns.

An example of how services could run was suggested by Dave B in this post.

It is possible to mix limited-stop and all-stop services without any overtaking, but it does disrupt the cherished ’10-min interval between trains’.
Take the Western Line: The express departs Britomart at, say, 00, 20, 40 past each hour, skips Parnell, bypasses Newmarket, first stop Grafton, then selected stops only, from there to Swanson. The stopper leaves Britomart at 02, 22, 42 and proceeds all-stops via Newmarket as now. It arrives at Swanson 2 min before the next express. The stopper takes 55min, the express 49min.

So say you wanted to go to Baldwin Ave, a station that would be guaranteed to be bypassed by any train running an express pattern. Using Dave’s suggestion above it means you only have the option of a train once every 20 minutes. That’s definitely not a turn up and go frequency but one you have to consult a timetable on to prevent long delays. Some suggest that people will only need to do that once however if they’re anything like me their travel doesn’t always happen at the same time. As an example I don’t leave work at the same time every day and arrive at Britomart with the intention of just catching the next train that leaves.

In addition to what’s already been mentioned is also the issue of the New Network which has been designed as an integrated PT network rather an a mode focused one. It will see a lot more bus feed a greater number of passengers on to rail services. Providing consistent and easy connections between those services will be another important step in building patronage.

The decision about whether to run express trains or not is going to differ for each city and for Auckland the decision is between having trains that are frequent but that stop at each station along the way or having lower frequencies but with some trains having faster trips. For me with the system we have I think that we are right to focus on getting frequency rather than speed. Faster speeds *should* come with the electric trains and the faster acceleration they bring will help narrow the gap between the two options further. My position would likely be different if we had the infrastructure and capacity to support express services that don’t get caught behind the train service in front but tat this stage that seems like something.

59 comments to Express vs All Stop Trains

  • Nik

    Can we get a guest post from AT/KR about how the ECTS is going?

    An understanding of the issues being faced and how they are being approached/resolved with more of the network about to be changed over would be better than the information void we currently have.

  • Rob

    To me the key to an Express service is “I’m at the station – is it worth skipping this train to wait for the next (Express) train?” – from the old timetables it wasn’t ever worth it – you didn’t get to Britomart any sooner.

  • In Dave’s example it is hard to see much up side. Only a six minute saving for some passengers at the cost of a truly awful running pattern with 6 trains per hour but 20 minute gaps between services. If this is the option I would rather have all 55 min services but one leaving every 10 minutes. On balance your going to get home quicker, because the average wait time at Britomart with Dave’s pattern is 10 minutes versus 5 for the frequent service. There’s your time saving right there. Also I’d rather be on the train, moving, and with more destination options than standing longer on the platform. And of course there is the added advantage of legibility; easier for everyone to simply learn that every Western Line train will get them to every station; just jump on any one anytime.

  • JimboJones

    I don’t catch the trains often, but I think you could probably knock a minute per station off the journey time if the trains didn’t wait so long at the station. Train arrives, doors open (much quicker than they currently do, the new trains are so slow!), 20 seconds later doors close (bad luck if you didn’t get on), and the train leaves. This is how it works in other countries.

    • obi

      NZ practice in both Auckland and Wellington seems to assume that the train stops, and only then do people stand up out of their seat and make their way to the exit. It is the same in Sydney. Whereas in London you stand up well before your stop and stand by the doors, ready to pop out on to the platform the minute the doors open. We really need to operate more like London if we’re going to have a fast service that moves as many people as possible.

  • Adam W

    As I catch the train a Pukekohe, an express service would be a god send and would be well worth it. Especailly late in the evenings. I used an express service from Kings Cross to Hatfield in Herfordshire for 4 years in England and it was brillant. A 50 minutes train compared to 25 minutes and after a night out was really great. I would expect some good savings going to Pukokohe as well.

    • Luke C

      But how would in work in reality, with regular trains every 10 minutes, and now way to pass. At best 5 minute time saving before get stuck behind another train. Have to wait for third main line and CRL, then a few expresses will be possible.

    • Pukekohe is the most obvious contender for any express service, although that requires electrification first.
      Here’s a suggestion:
      Panmure-Papatoetoe-Papakura-Pukekohe The P-Train!

      Papatoetoe as it is the transfer station for the airport. Sell it as the Airport and Southern Express….?

      • tuktuk

        The Southern line station spacing, and station locations where there are heaviest loadings, is quite different to the Western line.

        For services operating via Newmarket, and via Panmure, through to Manukau City and Papakura, the loads are busiest toward each end. There are lower potential loadings through the Westfield area until you pick up Middlemore. The proposed interchange at Otahuhu should fix things up somewhat. On the other hand, the Western line has consistent loadings, and consistent potential growth opportunities right the way along the corridor till you get to Swanson.

        There is a good case to be made for express services along the southern line as opportunities open up with the triple tracking, and with electrification to Pukekohe, and potential passenger growth at Tuakau and further south.

        With triple tracking, a consistently timetabled 32 minutes from Papakura to Britomart non-stop via the waterfront should be achieveable. Any other stops will be dependent on accommodating extra station platforms to serve that third track. This may become expensive, and disruptive to achieve.

        One idea, at risk of trading off the express moniker, is to build the southern connection to Manukau station from that third track, and run on the triple track north of that point (….non-stop other than Papatoetoe). Lets say 3 minutes each way into Manukau, plus a minute at each of Manukau’s station platform and Papatoetoe’s station platform = a consistent timetabled 40 minutes from Papakura to Auckland via Manukau and Papatoetoe for expresses.

        A stop at Papatoetoe and its airport connection is an essential choice, and I think worth investing heavily in if necessary, to provide re-aligned platforms for all 3 tracks.

        Express services are where integrated ticketing really comes into its own. It allows passengers to conveniently swop and change from express to frequent “metro style” all-stations services, without fare penalty. The prospect of express services north and south of Manukau should also really augment that station’s role as a bus interchange.

        • Yes all true, but Panmure looks like it really is becoming an important transfer hub too. Pre integrated fares and pre new trains and even before really any bus priority from Howick and Pakuranga, we are getting reports of whole H&E buses emptying there with people taking the train to Britomart.

          Bus lanes on the Pak highway, plus AMETI, and all the above would surely really work for this car jammed part of the city.

          • tuktuk

            OK – a big win to Panmure. It puts forward a strong case to be an express station. Next question, and you know its coming your way ;)
            How do we go about squeezing in a third track and its accompanying station platform into the Panmure rail station interchange?

          • Of course especially as the port company say they are increasing rail freight movements up this line from 8 per week to 56!

            Will need a less single mode obsessed government however.

          • tuktuk

            In response to my question, and I suspect also Nick R’s response down the thread a bit, I have just checked out a few photos of the Panmure station. Yes it does look like there is space for a track to go in beside the east platform.

            Pulling in another comment from elsewhere, both this and especially Papatoetoe station will need to consider passengers carrying or dragging along luggage. In the case of Papatoetoe station those 380 Airporter buses will really need to be able to pull up right beside a secure, covered walkway and lift combination to get passengers and their luggage to the platform. Integrated ticketing, gates and HOP card readers will be essential elements.

            Most right wing governments have a much better attitude to rail and other alternative modes than NZ. The positive environment created by the NSW’s right wing state government in building Sydney’s North West Rail Link automated light metro, and Sydney’s ambitious Light Rail extension programme are two great examples. How different it could be if our right wing government just opened their eyes and their minds a little.

          • Greg N

            tuktuk, our right wing government couldn’t give a shit about rail for anything, they have KR so beaten down, that the even futureproofing for third rail at Panmure is a notion in some peoples minds and little else.

            There is no 3rd rail “right of way” north of Panmure station – check your Panmure station photos and you’ll see that the “third rail” gap east of Platform 1 runs smack bang in to the Mountain Road Bridge abutment at the north end of the station. The very same Mountain road bridge that was completely turn down rebuilt as part of AMETI to cater for 4 lanes of cars and rail, and was short-changed for space for the third rail.

            So the short answer is that the third main can’t start until after Panmure when heading south (and has to end at Panmure when heading north).

            And then even if it did go through Panmure the St Johns tunnel needs a neighbour tunnel for a 3rd main, and then the Hobson and Orakei Basin embankments need to be widened as well.

            So KR is basically sayinh to POALs plan to run 8 lots of freights via that way – “you’re dreaming mate.”

      • Donald

        “Panmure-Papatoetoe-Papakura-Pukekohe The P-Train! ”

        Seems a worthwhile experiment. The P lab!

  • One of the benefits of HOP is that AT will now have all the data they need to know express services would work,they know exactly how many ppl are travelling from which station to which station and at what time…

    With the new signalling allowing the possibily of bi directional running to allow express trains to “hop” past local stoppers there is probably no better time to at leat consider introducing a few Express services ( especially if they can see large number of travellers from key stations)

  • JimboJones

    The best PT systems are the ones that are very simple to use, Simple routes, a small set of termination points (don’t have some trains terminate early, etc), a train every x minutes (where x is a small round number like 10, 5, 2, etc), no timetables at all, HOP gets you best fare every time (no pre purchased passes), no express trains, no exceptions to these rules.
    Its hard enough getting Aucklanders to give PT a chance as it is; make it twice as complicated and we will continue to have a system that is only used by people who live miles from the city because it takes too long to drive.

  • Adam W

    The link in the UK had 4 tracks so it was a lot easier. Hopfully the 3rd line will help, through I don’t know why they just don’t do 4 lines – future proof. It maybe expensive but is a long term solution for express trains and of course for freight

  • Ran Derson

    I’m surprised how little time is saved on the Western Line.

    In my view the only line that needs an express service is the Airport line. Like Kuala Lumpur, which has a seamless express service from the central train station

    • Actually the time saving on the Western line on the outbound express was quite substantial for people going to New Lynn – I think it was something like 10 minutes. Problem was the train would then sit at the New Lynn platform for ages waiting for the timetable to catch up with it.

      Half that time saving was simply by skipping Newmarket and serving Grafton instead, but only the outbound express did that, therefore only the outbound express had a good time saving.

      On that note once Parnell opens, as a pre-CRL operating pattern, would it be practical to have some, most, or all peak west trains skip Newmarket, with Parnell as the designated West-to-Newmarket-and-South transfer point?

    • Ran. The small problem of not actually having an Airport Line notwithstanding. An express that stops at Pukekohe for Airport transfer would help make that option more viable, although better station access would really be necessary to attract any volume of people especially with luggage.

  • George D

    The key things are the CRL, to increase capacity and free up lines, and designating every line for duplication.

    We’re going to need it sooner or later, we should protect it now.

  • The station is designed for it, third track along the east side of the second platform where space has been left.

  • Jeff H

    Time savings might be more like 2 minutes per stop missed, from point of deceleration, stop/start and return to operating speed. 4 minutes estimated savings seems too low for the Western Line. Surely it could potentially be a very desirable peak time 30 minute service from Henderson to Britomart?

    While achieving the goal of giving outer suburbs faster trips increasing it’s attractiveness, using passenger demand to determine express schedules would produce operational savings, with every stop and go costing money/time.
    On inner sections of Eastern and Southern Lines trains now run every 10 minutes at peak, stopping in both directions of travel. The few passengers alighting and boarding often crowded trains indicate some stations are already being over serviced at the expense of time to other users. A small compromise to some passengers that would benefit a much greater number seems reasonable. I live near an inner station, yet still see potential personal benefits in having express service options I could connect to off a local all stops train.

    The biggest advantage of providing limited stop train services is they would give users from outer suburbs fast and congestion free options compared to driving cars, help address the gripe of most Aucklanders; traffic.

    On other issue raised, trains can and do run express/local on two track networks throughout the world. The idea that confusion will reign for users resolved with timetables real time information.

  • Dave B (Wellington)

    Hi Matt + all
    I did indicate shortly after I posted the suggestion that you detail in the post, that I had in fact made a mistake. The 6-minute differential between express and stopper Western trains is that which would allow a 10-minute frrequency of BOTH expresses and stoppers (i.e. 12 trains/hr). Every 10 minutes a stopper leaves Britomart for the West, as currently planned. But between each of these, theoretically an express could run, departing 2 min earlier and taking 6 minutes less to Swanson, therefore arriving 2 min ahead of the next stopper.

    However I didn’t mean to suggest such an intensive service which I doubt Britomart in its present form could handle. This was a gaffe.
    If the express and the stopper both ran at 20-min intervals then sure, some stations would offer a relatively poor 20 min frequency, but there would then be no need to hold back the express from catching the stopper in front. It could possibly achieve Britomart-Swanson in 40 min, depending of how many stops were missed. This possibly would be a saving worth trading off against freqency.

    The other possibility is that the express leaves Britomart 2 in AFTER each stopper and misses Newmarket, thereby effectively “overtaking” the stopper while it is berthed in Newmarket. By careful planning and modelling, the same process could occur on the inbound also. Once ahead of the stopper, the “express” could then observe all stops if so desired, meaning that only Newmarket was missed, but this in itself could save 4-5 min (This would also have the effect of significantly de-congesting Newmarket!).

    My original suggestion was simply made to show that options for express/stopper services do exist in spite of Auckland’s constrained network. Assuming that a 10-min freq / all-stops service is what gets instgated, I suspect that pressure to consider the alternative will continue, because the disadvantage of everything stopping everywhere is not insignificant.

    • So Dave; Grafton- Mt Albert- New Lynn-Hendo?

      • Dave B (Wellington)

        Could be a contender!

        It would be very interesting and surely feasible, for each type of service to be offered for a trial period, just to get a feel for which type people really do prefer.

        Experience from Wellington suggest that offering a choice (expresses + stoppers) may count for more than a single choice (stoppers only) albeit giving all stations the same frequency. However what makes this work is that many users either plan to get the same train every day (therefore they simply catch the one they want), or else they know the timetable sufficiently well that they know when to set out from the office or wherever to fit in with the service-pattern.

        However this is less helpful for newcomers or occasional users who are not “in the know”. For them a predictable, high-frequency service without having to worry about what stops where would be preferable. Horses for courses!

        • When I am in the city and heading home on the 020 bus in the evening, I DO wait for the express because it is significantly more direct, but that is mainly because the standard 020 takes such a rambling and annoying route. And they do alternate for a period in the evening peak at 10 minute intervals. I am not alone in doing this. And I can drink a glass of wine in ten minutes.

          Related; Britomart needs a bar.

  • Interesting ideas in here. If Expresses were re-introduced then my approach is to look after the high patronage main stations on each of their respective lines. I have seen the patronage ranked across the 41-42 stations and by looking after the Top 15 across the network you would be covering over 70% of the boardings. Patrick – you might be surprised at the patronage from a few stations near Henderson being competitive with what people see as a key destination. The long lines have 16-17 stops, so would geerally only have 4-5 main stops, with time savings across the 10 stations missed out, saving 15+ mins.

    The benefits of taking this approach is for the greatest good for the greatest number, and also has the benefits of reducing dwell times on the all stops trips and there will be much lower demand for these at the 4-5 high patronage stations (which can add an extra 5 minutes to trip times due to 50+ customers boarding at peaks at these stations).

    • I haven’t seen the very latest station data but a little birdy tells me that among the movers is Sturges Rd. The small station immediately after Hendo. apparently shifting a bunch more humans. I know that Manurewa, Middlemore, Papakura are biggies [which is why they need gating sooner rather tan later. Grafton is growing in importance as is Panmure.

      I do think there is some sense in Express services [if we have them] only visiting gated stations…. a further incentive to pay.

  • Jeff H

    On departing Britomart, the train PA announcement ” This is a limited service to Swanson, stopping at Newmarket, New Lynn etc….” will be a relaxation inducing welcome for people in the PT deprived outer west.

  • Peter

    Those time savings arnt worth it; just improve rail infrastructure and timetables once EMU’s come and u will get similar or better time savings. Also transdev/kiwi rail need to stop canceling trains over meaningless little things like water mains bursting like at Fruitvale road today, not close to the track and even if it was, THERE’S 2 TRACKS, there’s such a thing as taking “saftey” too far, these little things are more delay to commuters than anything else.

  • Steve

    I’ve always been a fan of the JR Kyushu system whereby on a double tracked line you have some stations with two island platforms and time both trains to arrive at same time to allow seamless transfer between each i.e. local arrives, express arrives, swap passengers across the island, express leaves, local leaves. Alas opportunities for this in Auckland are probably limited..

    Next best thing for Western Line might be express from Britomart, first stop Grafton closely follwed by an all stops originating at Newmarket. There must be a way pre-CRL to get a bit of speed into the timetable for the outer stations that does not sacrifice service on the inner given we can start services at two stations to overcome the Britomart issue and time them so that the Grafton wait is a couple of minutes only.

    • Jeff H

      Yes. In Japan local trains aren’t held up much while passengers swap across the platform to other services. The limited stop passengers get a much faster service, but they are popular and often more crowded. An advantage for local train commuters is they are more likely to get seats as limited services are usually run on sections between main stations at times where demand is greatest.

      Most of us are happy enough to get on a lift in a building and have 3-4 stops. Few of us would want the lift to stop 14 times to our destination floor. The express train idea has been around since the steam age and is followed by the same logic of express lifts in high rise buildings.

      As peak train loadings improve from outer suburbs in particular, AT should be looking at where they can add the missing word ‘Faster’ to their advertising.

      • Glen

        Good points guys. Such tactics (taking a local even though you’re using express stops) add another layer of choice to commuting, one which people come to understand and appreciate as PT systems develop. Unfortunately most Aucklanders are not even at the point of understanding the benefits of train commuting in a developed system, let alone the subtleties of it.

        BTW while three or four tracks would be ideal, to run express and local trains (unless the line is so short crossing isn’t needed) at a minimum requires the below.

        1. Double tracking – Auckland has that (in most cases)
        2. Doubled platforms at key stations as Steve describes, or at the very least side platforms with separate through lines in the middle at local-only stations to allow expresses to pass (this approach is quite common on Shinkansen lines as well in Japan) – Auckland doesn’t have this, and may not have the lateral space in enough stations.
        3. A highly organised, highly reliable train operating environment including but not limited to the train and track operations companies – Auckland is far from this point. It’s easy to knock Transdev here, but I don’t think KiwiRail in Wellington is up to the complexity and precision that high-frequency express operations would require either. That and the physical network still seeming vulnerable after years of underinvestment (vis the pipe incident the other day)

        That and the effective frequency drop to local-only stations until the CRL is built means that for me, express running is unfortunately not a goer until the CRL is built and there are significant network improvements as well.

  • Make an offer, they can’t refuse.

    Buy up, whatever needs buying, to quadruple track, or whatever.

    Add track, build apartment alongside track, shops, parks etc. sell what needs selling. Oops, we have enough track, and we didn’t lose money, how did that happen?

  • Riccardo

    I’m doing some detailed performance analysis on the Sydney network that you might be interested in when its finished.

    Your approach is interesting about optimum line length

  • Geoff Blackmore

    The quoted time saving on the Western appears to be based on the old timetables, which were in existence prior to double tracking being completed. The Helensville Express used to save 12 minutes before Avondale, but then lost it all by sitting at the junction for the same amount of time.

  • c

    Could additional fast lines with high linespeeds be built between Otahuhu and Penrose, to allow expresses to pass stopping trains here?

    Would seem to be easier to find the space – and could include additional platform faces (enabling stopping trains to wait and get overtaken).

    A diveunder at Penrose for the down Onehunga line might be worth looking at too.

    All this is post-CRL of course.

    • A third main to Otahuhu is urgent to separate increasing freight and passenger movements. And one really ought to be being installed between the junction and the GI tunnel now too, as they worked on the Panmure rail reserve. I guess Kiwi Rail are so beaten and visionless they just waived their reserve away….. The port says they plan to increase freight movements between the port and their depot at Wiri from one per day to eight. Just as AT are about to go to 10 minute frequencies on the Eastern line, and twice that on the core of the Southern.

      Movements between Tauranga and their depot at Onehunga are also growing….. The gov is showering money on the road freight industry but starving much more efficient rail core of that freight system. And Kiwi Rail don’t fight, nor it seems, plan.

      • Greg N

        How can KR plan Patrick, when every time they ask for some money for capital works they are told by Joyce and co – “but you don’t cover even cover the cost of track maintenance with the money you make now so why should you get any more money to make that worse?”

        Not that we see the Road lobby being made to play on the same field mind. And of course, NZTA is banned from spending on anything not road related, even though the TA in NZTA means “transit authority” not “tar seal authority”

        Governments stance Is a pretty rich, somewhat like some delinquent dad, who refuses to pay any child support on the basis that the kids mother will “simply spend it all”.

        As you’ve said before, the Government should separate the track and rights of way ownership from the freight business of KR and then the TrackCo can finally argue the merits of their case alongside Transit for handouts from the government slush fund.oh, I meant the “Future Investment Fund”.

        • But KR don’t even fight their corner, they think like a government department while being urged to operate like a business. They need to get their elbows out. And in particular play tougher when NZTA comes to grab their rail reserve for highways.

          I see no sign of any ‘blue sky’ thinking from them. They are completely passive. When I raised this with them they just said that they will build anything they are paid to, like a contractor. Not interested in what or where; just the contract. After all, policies and governments change, but where are the arguments from them as to how they could operate and what would be needed? Stockholm Syndrome.

          All transport infrastructure is subsidised, but one land based mode is a lot better at shouting for that subsidy that the other. And the nation is poorer for it.

          • Greg N

            You know replace “KR” with “AT” and “NZTA” with “Government Departments” and “rail reserve” with “assets” and that same post almost applies to AT as well.

            I think its worse than Stockholm syndrome, its more like battered women’s syndrome – so beaten into submission by their so-called partner that they don’t want to do anything to provoke a response as it won’t be a positive response…

            I also see NZTA more akin to the abusive grown up son, than violent parent – a son who has learned selfishness before all else, along with how to mistreat others from their violent parent’s behaviour patterns.

            We don’t expect the victims of such situations to sort themselves out though do we? (you know like, “its their fault they’re like that”) – they need help and a “separation” from the situation and the spouse.

            I don’t think KR can see the wood for the trees right now, and couldn’t be expected to give the way it has been, and is continuing to, be treated.

        • If this sounds trite, it doesn’t to me.

          Most of the problems, it seems to me, are traceable to a single word.

          Incompetence.

          So, is the question we should all be asking….

          How do we remove incompetence from civic governance?

          Should we start with a single line in every job description?

          “must not , by the standards of international best practise, be incompetent”

          Technically, that’s two questions.

          There should be no limit on questions , or it seems that way to me, atleast.

      • Geoff Blackmore

        “I guess Kiwi Rail are so beaten and visionless”

        KiwiRail are prepared to fund their share of the third main. It isn’t happening because AT refuses to come up with their share. So it’s actually AT who you should be directing your comments at.

        See http://kiwirailblog.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/auckland-transports-freight-train.html

        The corridor has not been given away or sold as you state either. There is rail land for the third main all the way from Auckland to Papakura via GI.

    • Thankyou Patrick.

      Now, if you do find time wherever it may be, if you could just reply to my email, or not.

      You may cease email communication with me. Previously, this was achieved by using the word End, in correspondance ( email bucket, webform, box ), but thanks to Fred, who’s no doubt loitering around here somewhere, you now need to simply invoke Godwin’s Law

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

      As with Beetlejuice, you may paste this three times.

      Thankyou, to everyone at , in and around Transportblog.

  • Every time I read something from this Herbert guy, I am confused…. what? I think we’ve had enough developments recently with AT to know they have a horrible culture in terms of enabling the growth of Auckland through their transport operation.

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