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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that things are moving on this one there should be more news and there will also be some property developments related to the project. In order to keep everything together I think that the CRL warrants it's own thread ...

City Rail Link Route Identified


Auckland Transport has identified a route through the city centre for the City Rail Link (CRL) the next step in passenger rail development for Auckland, and is now making contact with directly affected landowners prior to seeking planning protection for the route. The CRL will extend the existing rail line underground through Britomart, under Albert, Vincent and Pitt Streets, then beneath Karangahape Road and the Central Motorway Junction to Symonds Street before rising to join the western line near Eden Terrace. Mayor Len Brown says the route identification is the next big step towards the completion of one of the most important public transport projects in the recent history of Auckland.

“The CRL won’t just provide a convenient train line below the city centre. It will unleash the potential of the entire suburban rail network, increasing frequency, reliability, and speed of trains across all of Auckland,” says mayor Len Brown. Auckland Transport’s chief executive David Warburton said the CRL will provide for three additional city centre stations in the vicinity of the Aotea Centre, Karangahape Road and Newton and an interchange adjacent to New North Road. “Our priority is to let property owners directly affected by the City Rail Link know about the route first and then we’ll engage with wider interests.” The CRL will require the future purchase of surface property from 210 owners. Underground portions of land from 70 interests including 12 unit title developments with multiple owners will also need to be purchased for the tunnels and stations.

“Our focus is on protecting a route for the CRL. We first want to work with landowners to help ensure they are well informed and to help us understand their issues. Property purchase is a second step.” “We are aware that property owners adjacent to the CRL will want to know more about future construction impacts such as noise, vibration and access. We will explain these over the next few months and address them at a greater level of detail in future design and resource consent processes.” he said. Britomart will become a through station as was originally envisaged when it was built, allowing faster, more frequent and more reliable services across the whole Auckland passenger rail network.

“Improved accessibility is a key to Auckland’s economic growth and that of New Zealand. The CRL will future-proof transport demands for an Auckland that will be home to two thirds of New Zealand’s growth over the next three decades.” The CRL builds on previous public transport investment including Britomart, double tracking and electric trains. It will provide more trains more often, with faster more reliable and direct services, to more destinations. He says both Auckland Council and central government agree it makes strategic sense to protect the route now. The CRL will be built in two 3.5km long, twin tunnels up to 45 metres below the city. As much as possible, the project will be built below city streets to reduce the effects on property owners and city heritage buildings.

Information on the project is available on the project website www.cityraillink.co.nz

MAP

 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
CRL Background Info:


The idea of a City Rail Link for Auckland’s city centre has been around for decades; since the 1920s. In the 1970s it was part of Sir Dove Meyer Robinson’s, vision for the city and although the proposal was taken through to design, the proposal was ultimately seen as too costly by the government of the day. In more recent times, new life breathed into the idea of a City Rail Link.

When the award winning Britomart Station was approved for design and construction in 2001, then mayor Christine Fletcher had the foresight to future proof the potential for a rail link to the western line. It is now time for Auckland to realise this opportunity by completing the rail link.
Britomart, which was opened in 2003 by Sir Edmund Hillary includes false walls and two outside tracks strategically located so they can push through under the Central Post Office building and QEII Square.

In 2008 the government requested KiwiRail to investigate protecting a route for a city rail link. KiwiRail and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) completed this study in 2010.

In late 2010, the CRL was a key element of Auckland mayor Len Brown’s election platform and continues to be part of his vision for Auckland to move the city to an outstanding public transport network.

Auckland Transport (AT) was established in November 2010 and combines the transport functions and operations of ARTA and the eight former local and regional councils of Auckland

In mid-2011, central government completed a review of the study for route protection for the CRL. It requested more work to be done prior to consideration of funding and agreed with Auckland Council that it made strategic sense to protect the route now.

In June 2011, Auckland Council directed AT to seek a designation to protect the route. Auckland Transport has now identified a route and intends to serve Auckland Council with a Notice of Requirement (NoR) for planning protection for both surface and sub-surface land.

The CRL is a cornerstone of key planning documents for Auckland; Auckland Council’s 30 year Auckland Plan, City Centre Master Plan, the 10 year Long Term Plan and Auckland Transport’s Regional Land Transport Programme. Protecting a route is the crucial next step to give Aucklanders the passenger rail service they have asked for.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUESTIONS + ANSWERS

What route will the CRL take ?

The CRL will push through the Britomart station under Queen Elizabeth II Square in Lower Queen Street before crossing Customs Street to travel along and under Albert Street. It will then travel below Pitt and Vincent Streets and beneath Karangahape Road. From there it will travel below Mercury Lane and the Central Motorway Junction to Benedict Street. It will remain below ground along Symonds Street to the intersection with New North and Mt Eden Roads after which it will gradually rise in the area of Flower, Nikau, Shaddock and Ruru Streets to meet the western line at Eden Terrace.

What difference will the CRL make to journey times ?

With CRL, a journey from New Lynn to the Aotea Station will take less than half the time and from Manukau to Karangahape Road, the journey will be a third faster.

How long will it take to build the CRL and how much will it cost ?

Construction of the CRL is expected to take five and a half years and the total project will cost $2.86 billion (when inflated to year of spend).

How will the CRL be funded ?

Funding options are being investigated by Auckland Council and as the project
progresses with central government agencies.

Why is AT progressing the project when it is not funded ?

Both Auckland Council and central government agree that it makes strategic sense to protect the route now.

What is the effect of route protection ?

Surface land and sub- surface land will be required for the construction and operation of the CRL. Once the land has been designated, any new development would need to be discussed and approved by Auckland Transport.

What do landowners on the alignment need to do ?

There is no immediate requirement for their property. We are contacting all directly affected owners to talk to them about the implications of the CRL so we can stay in touch as the project develops.

How many private properties will be affected?

We will be seeking a designation from 220 owners of surface properties. A further 75 owner interests (including 11 body corporates with multiple owners) will be affected by the need to buy an underground portion of land for the tunnels and stations.

How will property owners be compensated ?

Purchase is not expected to begin until after the route protection been confirmed and this is likely to be 2014. Purchases will be on the basis of fair market value with reasonable costs provided.

Will the project require the demolition of heritage buildings ?

No scheduled heritage buildings will be demolished. One is within the footprint but we require just the temporary use of its car park and we won’t affect the building. The future of former historic toilets beneath Beresford Square is still to be determined.

How deep is the tunnel ?

Under private property, the tunnels vary from about 20 to 33 metres

Will tunnelling cause damage ?

Buildings will be further assessed during future design stages and those findings will influence construction methodology so that damage is avoided. In addition, they will be surveyed and monitored prior and during construction to confirm our findings.

How do you determine how much sub surface property is worth ?

The value will be assessed by independent valuers. There is good market evidence on the approach to valuing land for tunnels and we would follow the principles that have been established on previous land acquisition for other projects. Compensation generally relates to the depth of the tunnel and the extent to which it may or may not restrict the development of the site.

Will there be additional noise from the stations when in operation ?
The stations are at a depth where there won’t be surface noise.

Will buildings vibrate when the trains pass below ?

The CRL is being designed so that this won’t occur with vibration insulation installed in the tunnels. The station is deep and the CRL will have new electric trains, not the current diesel fleet.

How will the CRL benefit people not living or working in central Auckland ?

Transport benefits ....

The CRL will increase capacity and efficiency across the whole rail network and improve timetable resilience by releasing the capacity constraint at Britomart. Journey times will be shorter and services more reliable and frequent. The CRL will maximise the benefits of past and future investment in transport. It will provide more direct access to the city centre and allow through running from one part of the city to another.

Economic benefits ....

Improving accessibility to the city will enable a more productive and efficient city centre. The number of people within 30 minutes travel time of a city station will double. Accessibility will help lift Auckland’s economic performance and therefore all of New Zealand’s
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
210 city properties in path of proposed rail link

Most of Albert St in central Auckland stands to be dug up (is this why they placed the Albert Street upgrade on the back-burner ?) and more than 200 properties affected by the city's proposed $2.86 billion underground railway. According to a plan announced by Auckland Transport yesterday, most of 210 surface properties likely to be needed for the project are at the Mt Eden end of a 3.5km pair of tunnels running under the west of the city centre, from Britomart. They will include the five-storey headquarters of MediaWorks and its TV3 subsidiary below the New North Rd and Mt Eden Rd intersection, near where the tunnels will emerge before joining the western railway line.

But an even larger property in the firing line is Westfield's sprawling Downtown shopping mall of 81 retail outlets at the city end, valued at more than $80 million. Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton said the site would probably have to be cleared for a pair of "cut and cover" trenched tunnels from Britomart to upper Albert St, behind Aotea Square. That may fit in with redevelopment plans yet to be determined by Westfield, which holds a resource consent to build an office tower. The company said yesterday it was not in a position to comment in detail on any future deal with the transport body's Auckland Council parent.

From near Albert St's intersection with Wellesley St, double-tracked railway lines will be laid through deep bored tunnels to Mt Eden, passing under Pitt St, Karangahape Rd, the central motorway junction and Symonds St. As well as surface properties at each end of the rail link, underground portions of land in 70 titles including 12 with multiple owners will need to be bought for the tunnels and three stations beneath upper Albert St, Pitt St and Symonds St. But although land purchases have been estimated to cost $231 million in today's dollars, Auckland Transport expects to recover more than half the money from reselling properties after completing the project by 2021.

The council body has written to affected land owners before seeking a formal route designation by the end of this year, saying their properties are within the project's "footprint". Although the Government has not yet agreed to contribute to the project, for which Mayor Len Brown gained the highest priority of any transport scheme in the 30-year Auckland Plan, Dr Warburton said it supported route protection measures. His organisation had ruled out boring tunnels beneath Albert St, because these would be too shallow, but hoped to keep excavations for a covered trench "predominantly in the road corridor". He could not say for how long the busy bus and general traffic route would be affected within a five-year project period.

Acting council transport chairwoman and former Auckland mayor Christine Fletcher, who leads the right-leaning Communities and Residents group, welcomed the route protection moves but remained firm that construction should not start until funding could be identified. Heart of the City business group chief executive Alex Swney said the project may prove more transformational for Auckland than the harbour bridge in doubling the rail network's capacity, for which traffic disruption in Albert St was an unavoidable part of the price. "Britomart will be at capacity under current trends by 2020, so doing nothing is clearly not an option," he said. But Automobile Association spokesman Simon Lambourne, although agreeing that a route should be protected, said his organisation questioned whether it should run under Albert St rather than closer to the growth area of Wynyard Quarter.

TUNNEL PLAN
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3.5km pair of tunnels from western end of Britomart to Mt Eden, to a maximum depth of 45 metres.
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To cost $2.86 billion (in inflated 2021 dollars).
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Cost includes three underground stations and 50 more electric trains (extra to 57 already on order).
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Five year construction period, from 2015-16 to 2021.
 

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I got a note saying that my apartment may be affected. I don't think it will be demolished unless they go with the Western terminus. So it probably means that it will be affected by contruction noise.
 

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I think your property will only be affected if they don't build the Eastern link. Because of the government's refusal to fund this they are having to look at ways to cut the cost back, one of these is to only connect the tunnel to tracks going West. What this would mean is that they will need a station to stop the trains, and then head back the way they came, this would be built (I'm assuming) in the area of your apartment. If the link to the East is built then I would say (again I'm assuming I know where your apartment is) it will not be affected. However, to allow for both eventualities they are submitting an NOR for landed needed for both options.
 

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I think your property will only be affected if they don't build the Eastern link. Because of the government's refusal to fund this they are having to look at ways to cut the cost back, one of these is to only connect the tunnel to tracks going West. What this would mean is that they will need a station to stop the trains, and then head back the way they came, this would be built (I'm assuming) in the area of your apartment. If the link to the East is built then I would say (again I'm assuming I know where your apartment is) it will not be affected. However, to allow for both eventualities they are submitting an NOR for landed needed for both options.
Yeah that's my opinion as well. I can't imagine it being needed unless the station is built. Oh well I might have to start saving up some money to buy an apartment close to a station.
 

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drosophila said:
I think your property will only be affected if they don't build the Eastern link. Because of the government's refusal to fund this they are having to look at ways to cut the cost back, one of these is to only connect the tunnel to tracks going West. What this would mean is that they will need a station to stop the trains, and then head back the way they came, this would be built (I'm assuming) in the area of your apartment. If the link to the East is built then I would say (again I'm assuming I know where your apartment is) it will not be affected. However, to allow for both eventualities they are submitting an NOR for landed needed for both options.
It isn't being considered as a cost saving measure
 

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Omitting the east link from what I read was a way to save cash? If it's more expensive not to build it than it is to build it then why would you not build it?
While it would cost more, that isn't the reason why they are looking at dropping it. It was more because their operational models said things would be better without the link. More people are heading to the northern end of the CBD than the southern end so it makes sense to send the trains that way first but we don't need all of those trains to then carry on out west. The inner west station would be a place where these extra trains could terminate without getting in the way of the main line then sent to a stabling yard which is planned to be built in Quay Park. There are of course different schools of thought around which operating patterns are best which is why AT are protecting each option with a decision to be made later as to what they go with.

Long term the goal is to have a line to the North Shore link to the southern line via the Aotea station to form a cross. In which case that eastern link wouldn't be needed at all so it would have become surplus to requirements. The long term thinking is something like this: (note, this is my own map and not one from AT)


http://transportblog.co.nz/2012/04/22/developing-the-rail-and-busway-network/
 

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You can run the blue line via grafton, to use that section
No you can't because there is no way you would be able to have the junction required for it in the CBD. Look at how much the junction at Newmarket takes up and imagine having to built that below ground and it would demolishing a number of buildings. An at grade junction would seriously lower the capacity of both routes while it would be simply too steep for a grade separated route to work as the CRL is already having to at a grade that is at the limits of railway technology so the blue route would pretty much have to be new tunnels all the way to the surface at Mt Eden at huge cost.
 

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Businesses hail rail link​


Beresford Square, near Karangahape Rd, will be the site of one of three new train stations
set to be constructed when the City Rail Link goes ahead.

Business leaders are welcoming the announcement of the long-debated City Rail Link route. The $2.56 billion passageway will extend the existing rail line underground through Britomart, to Albert St, Vincent St and Pitt St, then cross beneath Karangahape Rd and the Central Motorway Junction, over to Symonds St before rising above ground to join the western line at Eden Terrace. Twin 3.5km tunnels will be built up to 45 metres below the city. Construction will take about five years and is expected to be complete by 2021.

New stations will be built in Beresford Square near Karangahape Rd, Newton and in the vicinity of Aotea Square. An inner west interchange will go in at Eden Terrace. K Road Business Association manager Barbara Holloway is labelling the plans "fantastic". She says around 9000 people come into the association's area each day for work. "Most important for us is the economic development impacts and making it easier for workers and students to get here. Anywhere in the world where there are train stations small businesses thrive," she says. Ms Holloway says the construction of a station in Beresford Square is unlikely to cause much disruption. She says the association is advocating a design that won't block harbour views from the square and includes public art. "We'd like a station that reflects the creative nature of the area," she says.

Auckland Transport is working to ensure historic public toilets below the square are protected. The works require 280 properties to be purchased – both above and below the ground. Auckland Transport has started contacting land owners who will be affected. Ms Holloway says much of the work near Karangahape Rd will be underground and buildings will be largely unaffected. "It's so far down we won't even know any drilling is going on," she says. "The only impact on Karangahape Rd businesses will be when it reaches the surface in Beresford Square." Much of the above-ground work will be along Albert St in the CBD and toward Mt Eden.

The Westfield Downtown shopping centre will be demolished. But Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney is praising the Auckland council for giving property owners "abundant notice". "Those landlords we've been in contact with are grateful it's been formalised. Here in the CBD 80 per cent of business we've been in communication with have supported this project. It's a project that's time has come," he says.
A spokesperson for the Eden Terrace Business Association says they weren't aware the announcement was coming so soon but will be speaking with members over the next few days to gather their views.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rail-link property owners being sounded out

Auckland Transport is making direct approaches to about 400 parties who own the 280 properties affected by its $2.86 billion, 3.5km, mainly underground city rail link. Dr Stephen Rainbow, the manager of Auckland Transport's key relationships unit, said all property owners were being approached directly, either in person or by mail. But he refused to give addresses until plans were much further advanced. "We've sent out 400 letters and there's about 200 properties but some are unit titles. It's mainly commercial premises and at the Mt Eden end we have some residential complexes and even family homes which are potentially impacted and obviously they are highly sensitive and we're putting a lot of effort into that," he said. "We're taking our time to approach most of the affected people personally so it [publication of a list] won't be helpful until all the people have been talked to."

Many of the properties earmarked for purchase are understood to be around the Flower St area of Mt Eden but Dr Rainbow said his organisation would not need to buy all 280 places and only a "relatively small" number would be purchased. "This is about people who are potentially impacted, even if we're digging under their property. If you own a property in New Zealand, you own it right through to the centre of the earth, which is what I've heard in presentations from one of the technical people who would know." Properties needing to be bought included those where the site was required for construction, he said. "The reason to talk now is that we don't want to get into a situation of compulsory acquisition but we want to find out what people's plans are first. We can used compulsory acquisition as a last resort." Discussions were being held with Westfield (NZ) over buying its Downtown mall.

On July 3, Auckland Transport released a detailed report about its plans for the 280 properties and how surface land would be required for station access where tunnels come to the surface to join the western line. Surface land would also be needed for work sites. "Subsurface land [would be] required where tunnels and stations pass below properties," Auckland Transport said. "Subsurface numbers include 12 body corporates with multiple owners." But no heritage or character buildings were needed, it added. Planning and property issues are set down for the next three years, construction of the loop for five and a target opening date given of 2020-21. Auckland Transport says the plan unlocks an Auckland-wide network capacity and allows more direct city centre access.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
City Rail Link `doubles capacity' in west

The capacity of West Auckland's train system is set to double after the $2.56 billion City Rail Link is completed in 2021. The plans released by Auckland Transport show the new route will join Britomart with Mt Eden before connecting to the western line. Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton says the project will benefit the whole city. "The City Rail Link will allow people from New Lynn or Henderson to get into the city in half the time they are currently travelling so it will open the city up to a far bigger catchment of people coming into the city. "I think we really need to emphasise that this is not a CBD loop per se. "It's not just about going around the centre city. It is about the city being linked to the rest of Auckland," he says.

Mayor Len Brown says the council is still investigating funding options but he hopes the Government will provide half the money needed. Mr Brown says the Government has acknowledged the strategic importance of the project by supporting council moves to protect the rail link's route as outlined in the 2012/2013 budget. He said the rail link could be partly financed through tolls and congestion taxes on Auckland motorways. The passageway will extend the existing rail line underground through Britomart to Albert St, Vincent St and Pitt St, then cross beneath Karangahape Rd and the Central Motorway Junction, over to Symonds St before rising above ground to join the western line at Eden Terrace. Labour's spokesperson for transport Phil Twyford says the rail loop will bring Auckland into the 21st century.

"There's been a bit of a misunderstanding, what's much more important than what it will do for the central city is that it will double the capacity in west and south Auckland. This means that during peak times we will be able to have trains going every five minutes. It also means that properties next to train stations will dramatically increase in value," he says. The rail loop will be built in two 3.5km long twin tunnels up to 45 metres below the city. Auckland Transport says as much as possible it will be built below city streets to reduce the effects on property owners and heritage buildings. New stations will be built in Beresford Square near Karangahape Rd, Newton and near Aotea Square. The works require 280 properties to be purchased – both above and below the ground. Auckland Transport is contacting land owners who will be affected. Much of the above-ground work will be along Albert St and toward Mt Eden.
 

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I'm glad that David Warburton is taking the lead in fronting this more than Len Brown is. It's important that people don't see this as a left vs right issue and see it more as a key piece of infrastructure. He is also saying a lot of the right things.
 
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