At the moment, if you come into the city on a train you end up at Britomart station and all trains stop there. If you need to go to another part of Auckland, you have to get out there and catch a train on another line.
So we are building New Zealand’s first underground railway that joins up all the lines and makes it faster and easier to get to where you need to go.
We call it the City Rail Link or CRL for short and it’s the biggest transport construction project ever happened in New Zealand.
If you get off the train at Britomart, you’ll see signs of construction going on and you may even hear some of the construction noise. We are breaking through the walls at Britomart so that the tunnel there goes further. We are building two tunnels for trains going both ways 3.45 kilometres long.
Here are the tunnels starting to come through the Britomart building.
The tunnels will go underground from Britomart across the road to under the new retail and office buildings called Commercial Bay you’ll see being built next door to the transport centre.
From there they will go up Albert Street to around Karangahape Road and then to Mt Eden.
At the moment, if you’re coming into the central city, you have to end up at Britomart at the bottom of town.
When we have finished building CRL, you will have new places you can catch the train – on the corner of Wellesley and Victoria Streets in the middle of the central city (we are calling that Aotea station at the moment) and just off Karangahape Road.
Here’s what the Aotea station will look like from the street:
If you use the Mt Eden station at the moment, good news. We’re building a flash new station there.
And this is what it will be like catching the underground train near Karangahape Road:
Here’s where we are building it underground and how deep it is.
We’re looking at having longer trains – 9 cars – and that means at least twice as many people can fit in. In fact it means more people can use the trains - up to 54,000 Aucklanders every hour at peak times using the trains.
How much faster will it be to get to the central city? Here are some examples. From Mt Eden Station it will take only three minutes to get to the uptown Karangahape Station, six minutes to the mid-town Aotea Station and nine minutes to the downtown Britomart Station.
We are digging very deep under Auckland streets to create this underground rail. Aotea Station will be 11m depth and Karangahape Road 33m.
You’ll be able to use the CRL in just a few years time - in 2024. How old will be you then?
The Government and Auckland Council are paying for it. It’s costing just over $4 billion to build - that’s a lot of pocket money! But will be a massive change for all Aucklanders using trains.
The CRL is jointly funded by the Government and Auckland Council.
Now take a virtual trip through all the new stations!
The re-developed Mt Eden station
Here’s how Britomart will look when the work is finished there - and there will also be a new pedestrian square outside
Here is a look at the construction work
You will see work going on inside Britomart (which used to be Auckland’s old post office) and outside where the tunnels are coming through, the tunnels being built under Commercial Bay and along Albert Street.