Great progress is being made on the refurbishment of the Hamilton to Auckland train that will start up next year Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today.
Today the Transport Minister visited KiwiRail’s Hutt Workshop with a number of Hamilton City and Waikato regional and district local government representatives to see work underway on the carriages for the Hamilton-Auckland service.
KiwiRail has already refurbished three locomotives that will pull the train and work is well underway on 11 carriages. Old, tired former Auckland Transport carriages have been completely refitted with spacious new interiors and a sleek silver exterior.
Phil Twyford said the initial service, twice daily, will link two of the country’s fastest growing areas.
“We know more and more people are commuting between Hamilton and Auckland, and this service will give them a real choice between being stuck in traffic or relaxing on the train.
“One of the cornerstones of our transport policy is giving people options to get them out of their cars, freeing up the roads for those that have to drive.
“Not only will this service take the stress out of commuting, but the carriages will be comfortable and equipped with Wi-Fi, which will allow passengers to use the travel time productively.
“Our Government is tackling the long-term issues. Auckland and the Waikato are booming and it’s important we build the right infrastructure to unlock their potential.
“We’re taking a new approach with the Hamilton-Auckland growth corridor by doing comprehensive long-term planning that includes land use and infrastructure, including transport infrastructure.
“We’re working with local government, mana whenua, the private sector and the community to make sure any housing developments are well planned and serviced by transport connections.
“The Hamilton- Auckland service is an important first step to connecting the two cities and the communities along the route,” Phil Twyford said.
When the Hamilton – Auckland service begins in 2020, it will consist of two morning services from Hamilton, with two return evening services each weekday and a service on Saturday.
It will stop in Hamilton at Frankton and The Base in Rotokauri before going onto Huntly and finally stopping in Papakura in Auckland, where passengers can change onto the Auckland Public Transport Network. Further stops will be considered in the future.