City Rail Link
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Media Releases

MEDIA RELEASES

Below on this page are the latest news releases issued in 2019.

News releases from 2018 and 2017 can be found here.

Earlier CRL-related releases from the AT CRL Project Team, New Zealand Government and Auckland Council can be read here.


Improved access at busy CBD intersection after CRL works

14 June 2019

Road users will from this Monday (17 June) have much easier journeys through a busy central city intersection where access has been restricted  for the past three years because of the City Rail Link (CRL) project.

The re-opening of the Wyndham Street West intersection with Albert Street in an east-west direction will allow people to go straight across Albert Street in either direction again – east along Wyndham Street down to Queen Street or west past St Patrick’s Cathedral  towards Hobson Street.   

 “We’re delighted to be able to reopen the intersection for through traffic,” says City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney. “I want to thank people for their support and patience during our necessary work in the area,  I acknowledge it’s been a long wait, but I hope it will now be easier for people to access this section of Albert Street.”  

Some restrictions will continue for both road users and pedestrians around the intersection. Vehicles will not be able to make right turns into Albert Street from either direction on Wyndham Street,  and the footpath on the north or cathedral side of Wyndham Street West remains a construction zone.  Reinstatement of the footpath will start soon. 

“There’s still work to be done and we would ask everyone, whether they are walking or using the roads, to continue to take care,” Dr Sweeney says.

Improved access marks the end of an important phase of CRL work in the area.  A trench 18 metres deep that was dug across the Wyndham/Albert Street intersection for the rail  tunnels has now been backfilled, and work on renewing and shifting underground utilities  is finished. 

  Construction of the tunnels under Albert Street is due to finish next month and backfilling the full length of the tunnel trench will be completed in October.  Reinstatement of the first section of Albert Street will start at end of this winter and will be completed in 2020. 

Dr Sweeney says while the end is in sight for CRL works at the harbour end of Albert Street, construction on other sections of the CRL project is now ramping up.

“Further disruption will be unavoidable, but we are committed to minimising impacts and working with our partners to keep traffic, particularly bus services, moving through our work sites,” Dr Sweeney says. 



Plan for CRL’s Mt Eden’s works

06 June 2019

People working and living in a part of Mt Eden near the Western Rail Line are being advised to plan for some disruption next week because of necessary ground investigation work linked to the City Rail Link (CRL) project.

 The roads affected are Porters Avenue and Fenton and Haultain Streets.

 The work will be staged at different locations starting next Monday, 10 June, and will continue until 20 June.  

 It includes hydro-excavation, drilling boreholes to recover rock and soil samples, and excavating trenches to accurately locate existing utilities – gas, power and telecommunications systems, and drains. 

 “We want to thank our neighbours in the area for the support they give us, and we’ve planned our works programme to minimise any disruption for people,” says City Rail Link Ltd Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

 Access to properties will not be affected by the works. As a safety measure during work hours,  affected roads will be reduced to one lane, and a 30km/h speed limit and traffic management will be in place. Several on-street car parksmay be unavailable for up to three days at a time, and walkers may need to make short diversions. 

 “Our contractors will be working in a restricted and live road corridor and we ask everyone to take care in the area for their own safety and the safety of our workers,” Dr Sweeney says.   

 The hours of work are 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.  There may be some work on Saturdays if required. Work at each location is expected to take between one and three days.  The work may create some noise and vibration.

 The ground investigations will give CRL engineers the information they need to design some of the structures that will be constructed to connect the new CRL line with the existing Western Line track at Mt Eden. 


   

CRL Ltd welcomes sponsors’ funding support

30 May 2019

City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd) welcomes today’s Budget announcement that the Government has approved its $500 million share of additional funding to complete Auckland’s City Rail Link project.

The Budget announcement follows a decision earlier this month by Auckland Council to approve its $500 million share of additional funding.  The Crown and Auckland Council are both sponsors of the City Rail Link project.

CRL Ltd sought endorsement for additional funding from its sponsors when it released details in April of a revised cost envelope for the project of $4.419 billion – a  $1 billion increase on a $3.4 billion estimate made in 2014.   The increase followed a comprehensive review of project costs that included changes to the project’s scope, and a competitive construction environment.

“Today’s Budget news and Council’s earlier decision are big and positive steps forward, and our sponsors’ confidence clears the way for us to get cracking on delivering a project that will have a huge impact on Aucklanders,” says CRL Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

In addition to construction already underway at two inner city sites – Lower Queen Street/Britomart and lower Albert Street – work has started on an Early Works Contract relating to design, consents, permitting and mobilisation ahead of the project’s main C3 contract to complete the tunnels and build the underground stations.

CRL Ltd will endorse the Link Alliance as its confirmed bidder for C3 next month before they  sign a Project Alliance Agreement (PAA) in July.  The main works on C3 are planned to start in early 2020.

“Together, confirmation of funding, the Early Works Contract, and wrapping up our negotiations with the Link Alliance are important developments that will allow project momentum to continue to ensure the project is completed in 2024,” Dr Sweeney says.

The City Rail Link project is New Zealand’s largest transport infrastructure project and will be completed in 2024.  It includes construction of twin 3.45-kilometre-long tunnels up to 42 metres below central Auckland including two new underground stations at Aotea and Karangahpe Road, improvements to Mt Eden station, and converting the existing Britomart station from a dead-end to a through station.

When completed there will be more trains in and out of the central city more often, and the number of people within 30 minutes travel of Auckland’s CBD will double.

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Plan for CRL’s Queen’s Birthday Works

28 May 2019

Aucklanders are being advised to plan for some disruption to travel in parts of the city during the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend because of necessary work linked to the City Rail Link project. The areas affected include part of Mt Eden, and rail services on some sections of the Southern and Eastern Lines.

In Mt Eden, ground investigation work starts this Saturday, 1 June, in Boston Road and Normanby Road. The work includes hydro-excavation, drilling boreholes to recover rock and soil samples, and excavating trenches to accurately locate existing utilities – gas, power and telecommunications systems, and drains.

People will still be able to access properties. As a safety measure during work hours,  Normanby Road will be reduced to one lane, and a 30km/h speed limit and traffic management will be in place. Several on-street car parks may be unavailable for up to three days at a time and walkers may need to make short diversions.

“Our contractors will be working in a restricted and live road corridor and we ask everyone to take care in the area for their own safety and the safety of our workers,” says  City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

The hours of work are 7am to 7pm, seven days a week and are planned to continue in this location until 6 June. The work will create some noise and vibration.

“We appreciate the support we get from our neighbours, and we’ll be doing all we can to minimise any disruption for them while our ground investigations continue,” Dr Sweeney says.

The ground investigations will allow CRL engineers to design some of the structures that  will be constructed to connect the new CRL line with the existing Western Line track at Mt Eden.

Further information is available at: https://www.cityraillink.co.nz/mt-eden-work-city-rail-link

Upgrades on Auckland’s rail network, including construction of an additional line for a third platform at Òtàhuhu Station to improve services when CRL opens, will mean buses replace trains on some sections of the Southern and Eastern Lines.  More details are available at  https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/service-announcements/future-works-on-the-auckland-rail-network/

No weekend construction work is planned for City Rail Link Ltd’s Lower Queen Street/Britomart and Albert Street sites in central Auckland. While access for vehicles remains restricted in Albert Street, shops and cafes in the area remain open over the holiday.

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11-year-olds draw the line for CRL

10 May 2019

Thousands of Auckland children will forever be part of New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project – the City Rail Link project (CRL).

Year six pupils at Auckland’s 540 primary schools have been asked to paint and draw images that will be then be fired onto ceramic tiles and used as permanent wall linings at the new Aotea underground station to be built in central Auckland.

“We’ve chosen year six children – 11-year-olds – because they will be leaving school when the project opens in 2024 and as young adults will be among the first to enjoy the benefits the City Rail Link project delivers for Auckland,” says the Chief Executive of City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd), Dr Sean Sweeney.

CRL Ltd is working with the Ministry of Education, its schools, and Auckland Council’s Sustainable Schools programme to encourage children to use  their skills as artists and dreamers and imagine where they would like to go on a CRL train.

“We’ve had many awesome, colourful and delightful works of art – anything and everything from a rail trip to the dairy, to the Eiffel tower, under the sea and to the moon – but there will be some big walls at Aotea and there’s room for a lot more art,” Dr Sweeney says.

Kus Fausett, a teacher at Edendale Primary, encourages other schools to support the Aotea art wall.

“It was fun and engaging for our tamariki as they were able to unleash their imagination on an artwork project that will connect them with their city and its people via the City Rail Link,” Fausett says.

Isabel Hernandez is one 11-year-old artist who describes the idea of the art wall as “pretty cool”.

“When I drew my picture, I just wanted to think about somewhere I’d want to go and hang out, and maybe eat some ice cream. When the train station will be built I’ll be able to see my picture, and the pictures my friends drew as well,” Isabel says.

Aotea Station will be one of the busiest on Auckland’s rail network.

“Tens of thousands will use the station during rush hours, all of them walking past the art walls. The tiles will be an important part of the fabric of CRL – a fantastic legacy lasting 100 years or more, says Dr Sweeney.

Two copies of each artwork will be fired on to ceramic tiles. One tile will be used at Aotea station and the other will be returned to the pupil’s school as their reminder of the contribution they have made to a project that will have a huge impact on the way the city travels.

CRL Ltd has already received artwork to make around 3000 tiles. Schools wanting to contribute to the Aotea Station walls can contact info@cityraillink.govt.nz

Adding more images as we receive them. To follow this go to https://www.cityraillink.co.nz/resources-for-students-teachers-city-rail-link

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Green light for CRL funding

02 May 2019

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the Auckland Council Governing Body’s approval of an additional $500 million in funding for the transformational City Rail Link was the right decision.

Mayor Phil Goff said, “This project is critical to the future of this city. More than $700 million has already been invested in the first two stages of the tunnel. Without the CRL, Auckland will hit gridlock and the city will grind to a halt.

“The CRL is the biggest investment Council is making in transport infrastructure in the next few years. Securing additional funding ensures it will be future-proofed for growth.

“The additional cost to Council will not involve higher rates for Aucklanders and it will be met without breaching the debt to revenue limit on Council borrowing.

“The cost of the tunnels and underground stations, two of the biggest parts of the project, was determined by a competitive tender process. The increased cost estimate reflects the increase in demand and costs for major construction projects across Australasia.

“A significant part of the cost increase, some $250 million, reflects the need to future proof the tunnels and stations. We won’t repeat the mistake of the Harbour Bridge which was built at half of the size it needed to be and had to have major additions made to it within eight years.

“Another $300 million is money not spent but is there as a contingency against any potential cost escalations.

“Without additional funding, the CRL would not have been fit for purpose. We would have had another Harbour Bridge on our hands which was built at half of the size it needed to be and had to have major additions made to it within eight years.

“We’ve got one shot at getting the CRL right. Approving additional funding today will ensure that we do.

“Providing additional funding to CRLL will require careful management of Council spending. Council will continue to pursue efficiency and value for money initiatives, and take a conservative approach to new spending,” Phil Goff said.

In approving its funding commitment to the CRL, Council approved the following initiatives to generate the additional $500 million:

  • Interest cost savings due to lower market interest rates;

  • A reduction in cash holdings from improved cash management;

  • Re-assessment of the valuation of operating commitments which impact on Auckland Council’s debt policy limits;

  • Agree to progress a strategy to assess future off-street parking requirements for Auckland, including additional investment in park and ride facilities and net surplus to fund City Rail Link (CRL); and

  • Flexibility around the timing of Auckland Council’s CRL contributions.

Funding of the CRL is met jointly by Council and Government on a 50/50 basis.

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Jeffie completes her underground journey

24 April 2019

Mechanical muscle known as Jeffie has completed her underground journey below Mt Eden for Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) project.

Jeffie is a micro-sized tunnel boring machine used to build a new, 423-metre-long stormwater main 17 metres below city streets.

The existing main between Water and Nikau Streets was in the path of the future CRL tunnels and had to be diverted   

“Jeffie’s journey brings the City Rail Link and a much better rail service one step closer to Aucklanders,” says CRL’s Chief Executive Sean Sweeney.

Jeffie began work in January with two jobs to do: excavating spoil and, at the same time, installing concrete segments for the new drain.

She removed more than 2,000 cubic metres of spoil, installed 208 concrete segments, and made a sweeping curve underground to avoid a field of hard volcanic basalt rock in her way.   During the journey, Jeffie encountered a part of Auckland’s distant past - the remains of a tree thought to have been destroyed in a volcanic eruption some 20 thousand years ago.

By tradition, machines that work underground are named after women in honour of St Barbara, the patron saint of miners. Jeffie was a popular name in France some 100 years ago. The machine is owned by the French firm, Bessac, which is part of the March Bessac Joint Venture (MBJV) responsible for the main. She is now being transferred to Ecuador in South America for a new job, and a new name.

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Revised cost for transformational City Rail Link

17 April 2019

City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd) today announced a revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project totalling $4.419 billion, alongside naming its preferred bidder for its substantive C3 Contract to build the underground tunnels and stations and a $75 million Early Works Contract.

CRL Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney, says after a rigorous and comprehensive review of project costs, a revised cost envelope has been submitted to the project’s sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council - for approval.

“The $1 billion cost increase on the previous $3.4 billion estimate made in 2014 reflects significant changes impacting the project in the past five years,” says Dr Sweeney.

“No-one could have foreseen the competitive pressures that have occurred in the construction industry over the past few years and the impact that has on costs, particularly for a project the scale and complexity of the City Rail Link.

“Eighteen months ago, the value of work in the infrastructure pipeline on both sides of the Tasman was $80 billion – the value of that work is now estimated at $230 billion.

“Last year, a decision was made to increase the scope of the project to accommodate longer, nine-car trains at stations. Planning today for a city that will be much bigger in the future reinforces the benefits the City Rail Link City will deliver to the way people travel, work and live in Auckland.

Other factors contributing to the revised cost envelope are higher escalation, or construction inflation costs, and an increase in the contingency risk allowance for any future unplanned events.

“Put together, they have all helped add costs to the project overall. Keeping a growing city moving is a serious challenge, but when we complete the City Rail Link it will double the number of Aucklanders within 30 minutes travel of the CBD.”

Dr Sweeney says CRL Ltd’s own cost review underwent a rigorous examination by two international assessors to ensure the project delivers the best value for money for Aucklanders.

Decisions by the Crown and Auckland Council regarding their endorsement of the revised cost envelope are expected in early May.

After an exhaustive competitive tender process, the Link Alliance (Vinci Construction Grands Projets S.A.S,, Downer NZ Ltd, Soletanche Bachy International NZ Limited, WSP Opus (NZ) Limited, AECOM New Zealand Limited and Tonkin + Taylor Limited) has been announced as the preferred bidder for the C3 contract – the project’s largest package of work.

The Link Alliance was one of two groups of New Zealand and international infrastructure companies that submitted what Dr Sweeney, describes as “world class and competitive bids” for the contract. The other group was a consortium of: CPB Contractors Pty Limited, UGL (NZ) Limited, Beca Limited, Jacobs New Zealand Limited and McMillen Jacobs Limited.

Dr Sweeney says that both these joint-ventures consists of outstanding contractors with a wealth of experience delivering major project both here an overseas.

“The calibre of both the tenders were exceptional. Aucklanders can be confident that the project will be delivered to a high standard leaving behind an outstanding legacy for the city,” he says.

Dr Sweeney says progress on the project will still continue at pace as CRL Ltd starts negotiations with the Link Alliance to deliver the $75 million Early Works Contract over a three-month period. The contract includes work relating to design, consents, permitting, utilities and mobilisation.

“The project is already well underway at Lower Queen Street/Britomart, Albert Street and Mt Eden, and momentum will continue. CRL Ltd will now work with the preferred bidder to get the Early Works Contract underway as quickly as possible.

“This keeps us on track to have this transformational project in place and delivering significant benefits for Aucklanders at the end of 2024.

“Today’s announcements represent huge step forwards for a project that will create accessibility and development opportunities that will allow Auckland to remodel itself as a city that is proudly international,” Dr Sweeney says.  ENDS 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the Link Alliance selected as the preferred bidder?

Two, tier-one consortia submitted world-class proposals to deliver CRL’s largest construction package, C3 main stations and tunnels.

Those proposals were evaluated through a rigorous and competitive tender process to get the best outcome for Aucklanders.

Both consortia bring a wealth of experience both internationally and in New Zealand and have the skills and means to deliver a project of this scale and City Rail Link could not be more pleased to have two such high calibre proposals.

The Link Alliance was selected on the basis of a strong proposal that offered an experienced construction management team, significant commitment to the Alliance from the Executives of the construction firms involved. An efficient construction methodology and innovative engineering ideas.

The Link Alliance brings a phenomenal amount of experience delivering major projects including:

  • NZ Transport Agency: Memorial Park Alliance Projects

  • MTR Hong Kong: Shatin to Central Link 1103

  • Qatar Railways Company: Doha Metro – Red Line South

  • Qatar Railways Company: Lusail Light Rail Transit, Contracts 1&2

To have two such exceptional bidders in today’s climate where the pipeline of infrastructure work is so extensive, is testament to the benefits that this project will deliver and the readiness for it to proceed to the next stage.

What is the contract that CRL Ltd has signed with the preferred bidder?

At this stage no contract has been signed and there are still a number of processes to go through before a contract award recommendation.

CRL Ltd will continue to resolve several commercial matters before the Contract Award Recommendation for C3 is announced in May, subject to all necessary approvals from the project’s Sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council.      

In the meantime, to ensure project momentum continues, CRL Ltd will enter into an Early Works Contract with Link Alliance to carry out design, permitting, utilities and mobilisation works on the contract. The Early Works Contract is valued up to $75m.

While the Early Works Contract is not a commitment to carry out the full C3 contract, it is recognition that Link Alliance is the preferred contractor for C3.

What does the C3 Contract include?

The C3 (main stations and tunnels) contract is the largest of all the CRL contract packages. It includes construction of twin rail tunnels, construction of two underground stations and rebuilding Mt Eden station.  The City Rail Link is the largest infrastructure project undertaken in New Zealand.  

Why is the revised cost envelope higher?

The revised cost envelope reflects higher costs in four key areas: 

  • Contingency and escalation costs ($310 million)

  • Construction costs ($327 million)

  • Accommodating longer, nine-car trains ($250 million)

  • Non-direct cost ($152 million) 

The cost of the City Rail Link project was last estimated in 2014 and there has been significant change since that time.

The construction climate has experienced a significant increase in demand. Less than two years ago, the infrastructure pipeline in Australasia valued approximately $80 billion, whereas it is now valued at approximately $230 billion.

This is particularly evident in Auckland, where there are currently 98 cranes in the city – more than any city in the USA.

This kind of climate has significant impact on constructor availability and appetite for projects and risk as well as things like escalation.

In 2014 the project assumed an escalation of two percent.  New Zealand is now experiencing escalation of more than six percent and will do so for the foreseeable future.

Allocation for contingency on the project was underestimated when the project was last estimated in 2014, an independent audit concluded that contingency on the City Rail Link project was below international benchmarking.

Changing the scope and future proofing the project to allow for Auckland’s growth and projected increase in passengers numbers, together with the establishment of City Rail Link Ltd as a Crown Entity, also contribute to the revised cost envelope.

Stations at Mt Eden, Karangahape Road and Aotea in the central CBD are being designed for longer, nine-car trains to allow up to 54,000 people to move in and out of Auckland’s CBD during the rush hours – the equivalent capacity of three Auckland Harbour Bridges or 16 extra traffic lanes.  The original scope allowed for 36,000 people at peak times.

Creation of CRL Ltd – with the Crown and Auckland Council has the project’s sponsors – incurred set-up costs not included in the 2014 estimate.

What are the next steps? 

City Rail Link Ltd has submitted the revised cost envelope to its sponsors. The project’s two sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council – will now consider that cost through their processes. A decision regarding their endorsement is expected in early May.

In the meantime, CRL Ltd and the Link Alliance are negotiating the $75 million Early Works Contract and expect work on that to get underway quickly.

CRL Ltd will continue to resolve several commercial matters before the Contract Award Recommendation for C3 is announced in May, subject to all necessary approvals from the project’s Sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council.

Statement issued by Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has said that tighter financial management will help fund an additional $500 million requested by City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) for construction of the transformational underground rail project.

The Mayor’s comments are in response to CRLL requesting from Council and Government additional funding of $1 billion (split 50/50) after announcing that the Link Alliance is the preferred bidder to deliver the new stations, tunnels and rail systems.

Mayor Phil Goff said, “The City Rail Link (CRL) is a critical part of the changes we are making to reduce congestion and ensure we can move around our city.

“The CRL doubles the capacity of rail through Britomart and in peak hour will have the capacity to carry up to 54,000 passengers.

“The CRL will significantly reduce travel time from the West and the South,” Phil Goff said.

“The cost of the tunnels and underground stations, two of the biggest parts of the project, was determined by a competitive tender process. The increased cost estimate reflects the increase in demand and costs for major construction projects across Australasia.

“A significant part of the cost increase, some $250 million, reflects the need to future proof the tunnels and stations. We won’t repeat the mistake of the Harbour Bridge which was built at half of the size it needed to be, and had to have major additions made to it within eight years.

“The additional cost to Council will not involve higher rates for Aucklanders and it will be met without breaching the debt to revenue limit on Council borrowing.

Funding of the CRL is met jointly by Council and Government on a 50/50 basis.

Mayor Phil Goff says, “It is unfair for Aucklanders to meet half the cost of the CRL when no other part of the country has to do so and I’ve argued that case to Government. The Government has refused to revisit the deal saying that was what was agreed between the previous Auckland Council and National Government.

“However, Government has agreed to phase the timing of Council’s contribution to enable it to work within the constraints of its budget.

“Council will make changes in financial management that will enable it to keep under its debt to revenue ratio. It will benefit from current lower market interest rates. Council will also dispose of some non-strategic assets including some parking buildings.

“The Governing Body of Council has been advised of options to meet the increased costs and will consider those options before making a decision in May,” Phil Goff said.

“The CRL project is the biggest investment Council is making in transport infrastructure in the next few years.

“Providing additional funding to CRLL will require careful management of Council spending. Council will continue to pursue efficiency and value for money initiatives, and take a conservative approach to new spending,” Phil Goff said.

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Ōtāhuhu improvements start for City Rail Link

10 April 2019

KiwiRail is starting to build a new section of rail line to the third platform at Ōtāhuhu Station in Auckland’s south as part of wider rail infrastructure improvements to prepare the network for the City Rail Link.

Over the next 11 months, KiwiRail will construct the new 1.3-kilometre-long section of track alongside the main line, four new cross-overs to allow trains to switch between tracks, and new overhead line and signal equipment between Ōtāhuhu Station and Portage Road.

The work will allow a third platform to be used at Ōtāhuhu Station for improved train services when the City Rail Link opens in 2024.

The start of work is welcomed by City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

“It’s another important step forward for the City Rail Link and the huge changes it will make to allow people to travel around the city more easily,” he says.

KiwiRail’s acting Chief Executive, Todd Moyle, says KiwiRail is proud to create stronger connections through a modern and more efficient transport network for Auckland.

“KiwiRail keeps cities moving, connects workers to cities sustainably and enables 34 million low-carbon commuter journeys each year.”

“We have ambitious plans for New Zealand’s transport future and the City Rail Link is part of this,” Mr Moyle says.

The Ōtāhuhu improvements will support better services for people travelling between Auckland’s south and west when the City Rail Link opens.

KiwiRail staff and its contractor, Total Rail Solutions, will deliver most of its Ōtāhuhu works during weekday business hours. Some work will be completed during weekends and public holidays when there are no trains running and the overhead lines are shut off.

Auckland Transport will upgrade Ōtāhuhu Station.

The Ōtāhuhu works are the latest in a series of upgrades on Auckland’s rail network connected to the City Rail Link.  Upgrades were completed at The Strand in Parnell earlier this year, and other work is planned at Henderson and Newmarket.

The City Rail Link includes construction of twin 3.45-kilometre-long rail tunnels between the current dead-end station at Britomart in the CBD and the existing Mt Eden station on the Western Line, and two underground stations.

It is the largest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand and when it opens it will double the capacity of the Auckland’s rail network to carry up to 54,000 passengers an hour at peak times.

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Auckland network prepares for City Rail Link

01 March 2019

City Rail Link Ltd (CRLL) and KiwiRail today celebrated the completion of the first set of wider network improvements required to support Auckland’s transformational City Rail Link when it opens in 2024.

KiwiRail, on behalf of CRLL, has installed a new track cross-over point and other upgrades in The Strand area of the Auckland network, one busiest sections of rail in the city. Over five months, KiwiRail installed the cross-over, and modified the track and overhead lines and signal equipment. The work was completed in intensive blocks, to reduce the impact on neighbours and commuters.

KiwiRail acting Chief Executive, Todd Moyle, a new track layout was required to simplify access to The Strand stabling yard - the area where morning peak services are ‘stabled’ before they come back into service for the evening peak. Over 300 trains travel through this area daily.

“KiwiRail is proud to contribute to a more reliable and resilient rail service for Aucklanders as we continue building stronger connections for a better New Zealand.

“Once the City Rail Link is open and operating, more trains will travel in and out of the city more often. Wider network improvements are required to ensure the increased timetables can be achieved, Mr Moyle says.

CRLL’s Chief Executive, Sean Sweeney, says the Strand is the first construction project to be completed from a huge programme of work for a project that will have a huge impact on the way Aucklanders travel around their city.

“Just as significantly, it is also the first collaborative piece of work undertaken by KiwiRail and City Rail Link Ltd. We look forward to continuing this relationship on network improvements at Otahuhu later this year.

“Together CRLL and KiwiRail have demonstrated how well we can work together on work like this, and the wider importance of collaboration as delivery of the City Rail Link starts to ramp up,” Dr Sweeney says.

CRLL is currently evaluating two bids to design and construct twin 3.45 kilometre-long rail tunnels below Auckland’s CBD, two underground stations, the upgrade of a third station, and the installation of track and signalling, safety and communication systems.

The City Rail Link is the largest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand.

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Latest section of Auckland rail link taking shape

08 January 2019

Construction of Auckland’s City Rail Link has taken another significant step today with work starting on construction of the first of the two rail tunnel boxes to be built under the heritage-listed Chief Post Office (CPO) building in lower Queen Street.

Seventy cubic metres of reinforced concrete is being poured for the first base slab, or some of the floor, of the northbound tunnel below the old building.

Britomart pour 3 08 Jan 2019.PNG

This pour was an important moment for City Rail Link Ltd (CRLL) and its Contract 1 (C1) contractor Downer Soletanche Bachy JV, says CRLL Chief Executive Dr Sean Sweeney.

“We’ve been working for this moment since July 2016 – for the past 30 months or so, this is what we have been gearing up for. That time has been a challenging one for our C1 contract in lower Queen Street and Britomart. Our teams have been working in some pretty demanding conditions, not only immediately adjacent to a live railway station but also excavating below sea level with the Waitemata Harbour only a few metres away. On top of that, some remarkable skill and innovation has been used to protect the CPO building so that we could get underneath it.”

Dr Sweeney says there is still a lot of work to be done in this area before both the northbound and southbound tunnel boxes are completed later this year.

“Once we’ve finished, it will be possible to walk the first section of the City Rail Link from Britomart station to beneath Albert Street as far as Wyndham Street. As for the CPO building, we are on track to reinstate and return it as part of the Britomart station in late 2020.”

The 3.45-kilometre-long underground City Rail Link between Britomart and Mt Eden will be completed in 2024.

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