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  Reply # 1850437 22-Aug-2017 16:03
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Handle9:

 

I find the East - West link curious. The National government continually opposes rail on the basis of the economic return. The East - West link has a business case analysis (BCA) of 1.9 at absolute best case (more likely around 1.3 depending on what numbers you believe). It normally takes a BCA of 3 or greater to get a roading project up off the ground. I don't oppose the project but it appears in this case that there is more at play here than other projects.

 

 

 

 

The Road Transport Lobby (Trucking Companies) are very strong and influential.

 

 

 

As for the GA Rapid Intercity Rail idea - I like it. I don't think they should bother with Stage 1 though - I fear it would put people off. Go straight to stage two.

 

It requires a third and fourth main through to Westfield (and maybe further), but they are going to be needed anyway. If the trips are priced right, their end projections of 2 hours to Tauranga and 70 minutes to Hamilton are great (and would be easier than taking a plane). It would be used by tourists as well as commuters.

 

I do think their costings are way too low, but instead of spending $10bn on 10 more 'Roads of National Significance' how about sharing some of it with rail (Wellington could also do with Rapid rail to Palmerston North).


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  Reply # 1850566 22-Aug-2017 17:33
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Having a read of the story, they say that the trains will travel up to speeds of 160kmh.

 

Doing a bit of reading, that's the maximum safe speed for the rail gauge (3ft 6in). In Australia, they run a train from Brisbane to Rockhampton, the tilt train, which can reach speeds of up to 160km/h (100mph) on 3ft 6in rail. Looking at the map, it's not a dead straight line, but it's looks straight for big chunks of it.

 

Now, look at the existing rail from Tauranga to Auckland. It twists and turns a bit coming out of Tauranga, not really getting open until just before the Kaimai tunnel, and then following that, it's only straight in stretches. I'm no rail engineer, but I'd suspect even with new trains on the existing rail, there's only a few spots they'll be able to be a full speed, otherwise they'll not be that much faster than existing trains.

 

Happy for a rail engineer\expert to prove me wrong.


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  Reply # 1850640 22-Aug-2017 19:36
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MikeAqua:

 

shk292:

 

I prefer the idea of more, good quality wide roads to rail lines.  You will always have the loading/unloading and local transport inefficiency with rail.  Roads are versatile - cars, EV cars, cars with trailers, driverless cars, buses, bikes, EV bikes etc etc.  The Northland connection could be a huge boost for the region

 

 

Cars have their inefficiencies too - parking, intersections etc etc.

 

If I visit a city with good public transport for work or pleasure I don't bother with a car.  For example Singapore,  Brussels, Barcelona, Sydney, Melbourne (except airport, grrr!), Brisbane, SFO, Vegas ... even Albuquerque!

 

Auckland is not (yet) a city with consistently good public transport.  But here is a tip, recommended to me by a local.  To get from the airport to the city take the Onehunga bus-line and then train to the central station.  Faster and cheaper than the airport bus.

 

 

Interesting, because when I have visited several of those places I've rented a car, even for a short stopover.  Probable main difference is I often travel with my family, and trying to herd 2 kids plus lots of luggage on and off public transport is just too difficult.  Additionally, you have nowhere to put your stuff in any transition period between airport and hotel.

 

But on the whole I agree - a mix is needed.  I'm not convinced that NZ yet has the population and mass transit pysche to make spending billions on rail infrastructure worthwhile - I think National's $10.5Bn on roads will be a far better VFM investment for at least the next ten years


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  Reply # 1850663 22-Aug-2017 20:36
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trig42:

 

Handle9:

 

I find the East - West link curious. The National government continually opposes rail on the basis of the economic return. The East - West link has a business case analysis (BCA) of 1.9 at absolute best case (more likely around 1.3 depending on what numbers you believe). It normally takes a BCA of 3 or greater to get a roading project up off the ground. I don't oppose the project but it appears in this case that there is more at play here than other projects.

 

 

 

 

The Road Transport Lobby (Trucking Companies) are very strong and influential.

 

 

 

As for the GA Rapid Intercity Rail idea - I like it. I don't think they should bother with Stage 1 though - I fear it would put people off. Go straight to stage two.

 

It requires a third and fourth main through to Westfield (and maybe further), but they are going to be needed anyway. If the trips are priced right, their end projections of 2 hours to Tauranga and 70 minutes to Hamilton are great (and would be easier than taking a plane). It would be used by tourists as well as commuters.

 

I do think their costings are way too low, but instead of spending $10bn on 10 more 'Roads of National Significance' how about sharing some of it with rail (Wellington could also do with Rapid rail to Palmerston North).

 

 

Its an election campaign. Once whoever wins there dust will settle and real plans will be looked into


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  Reply # 1850665 22-Aug-2017 20:41
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WyleECoyoteNZ:

Having a read of the story, they say that the trains will travel up to speeds of 160kmh.


Doing a bit of reading, that's the maximum safe speed for the rail gauge (3ft 6in). In Australia, they run a train from Brisbane to Rockhampton, the tilt train, which can reach speeds of up to 160km/h (100mph) on 3ft 6in rail. Looking at the map, it's not a dead straight line, but it's looks straight for big chunks of it.


Now, look at the existing rail from Tauranga to Auckland. It twists and turns a bit coming out of Tauranga, not really getting open until just before the Kaimai tunnel, and then following that, it's only straight in stretches. I'm no rail engineer, but I'd suspect even with new trains on the existing rail, there's only a few spots they'll be able to be a full speed, otherwise they'll not be that much faster than existing trains.


Happy for a rail engineer\expert to prove me wrong.



If you use tilting trains then they can run faster on tight corners. Costs more for the rolling stock but less track upgrades. It gives them a generation to upgrade the track.

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  Reply # 1850672 22-Aug-2017 20:53
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What about trains and roads? Its not one or the other. Either way, its been too little for to long, same as if you forego house maintenance, it will bite one day. Im for getting us up to date


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  Reply # 1850819 23-Aug-2017 07:01
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tdgeek:

 

What about trains and roads? Its not one or the other. 

 

 

Obviously that's going to cost twice as much. And good roads means that less people will use trains, which threatens the economics of trains.

 

Or maybe we should invest in flying cars... no need for road or rail then.

 

 


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  Reply # 1850868 23-Aug-2017 07:38
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frankv:

 

tdgeek:

 

What about trains and roads? Its not one or the other. 

 

 

Obviously that's going to cost twice as much. And good roads means that less people will use trains, which threatens the economics of trains.

 

 

 

 

Here's the thing though. It doesn't cost twice as much. To have roads that let you have a large city commute is more expensive than a mixture of trains, ferrys and roads. This is because you have to keep building roads as you add people. To add capacity to a rail network is much more efficient once the track and the stations are in place. You can double the capacity of the Auckland rail network by going to double unit trains. This is much slower, more expensive and logistically difficult for roads.

 

This whole exercise has been costed at less than the East - West road link which doesn't have a strong business case but is being built for whatever reason, IMO largely related to the road freight lobby.


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  Reply # 1850888 23-Aug-2017 08:03
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I'm still totally unconvined about the market for a 2 1/2 hour journey from Tauranga to Auckland with high speed rail and have yet to see anybody produce any numbers on this.

 

I don't disagree that a train service won't be used and the $35 fare estimate is a reasonable price to pay (it's modelled off the cost of the Capital Connection between Palmerston North and Wellington). The big question is whether there is going to be the traffic to justify the huge investment in the service.

 

 


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  Reply # 1850891 23-Aug-2017 08:10
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sbiddle:

 

I'm still totally unconvined about the market for a 2 1/2 hour journey from Tauranga to Auckland with high speed rail and have yet to see anybody produce any numbers on this.

 

I don't disagree that a train service won't be used and the $35 fare estimate is a reasonable price to pay (it's modelled off the cost of the Capital Connection between Palmerston North and Wellington). The big question is whether there is going to be the traffic to justify the huge investment in the service.

 

 

 

 

I'm not up that way, but what is the road traffic like AKL to both Hamilton and Tauranga?


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  Reply # 1850927 23-Aug-2017 08:28
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Handle9:

 

Here's the thing though. It doesn't cost twice as much. To have roads that let you have a large city commute is more expensive than a mixture of trains, ferrys and roads. This is because you have to keep building roads as you add people. To add capacity to a rail network is much more efficient once the track and the stations are in place. You can double the capacity of the Auckland rail network by going to double unit trains. This is much slower, more expensive and logistically difficult for roads.

 

This whole exercise has been costed at less than the East - West road link which doesn't have a strong business case but is being built for whatever reason, IMO largely related to the road freight lobby.

 

 

It's all about the quality of your forecasting, and taking a long-term view. If you *know* that a particular population growth pattern will occur, then you can invest up front on the infrastructure. But if you're unsure, then all that up-front investment could very well become a white elephant. But short-term thinking 25+ years (thanks, Richard Prebble & Roger Douglas!) has left us in the current predicament. Rail & road now are about making investments that should have been done back then. If either of those investments had been made, we wouldn't be discussing this now.

 

Incidentally, I don't care particularly about large city commutes or the Auckland rail network; I've chosen not to live in Auckland, and people who *have* chosen to do so and to accept the compromises that entails should pay the complete price of their decision, not me. The more that the rest of us pay to improve the lifestyle of Aucklanders (including paying for rail links to turn Hamilton and Tauranga into Auckland dormitory suburbs), the more people will choose to live in Auckland, and the worse the problem will get.

 

 


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  Reply # 1851146 23-Aug-2017 11:48
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sbiddle:

 

I'm still totally unconvined about the market for a 2 1/2 hour journey from Tauranga to Auckland with high speed rail and have yet to see anybody produce any numbers on this.

 

 

 

 

The European experience is three hour train journeys are the decision point for people deciding to take either the train or flying.


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  Reply # 1851238 23-Aug-2017 13:08
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How much of an issue is our rail gauge? 

 

When I use trains overseas they seem much bigger carriages than you see in NZ.  

 

 





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  Reply # 1851244 23-Aug-2017 13:20
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MikeAqua:

 

How much of an issue is our rail gauge? 

 

When I use trains overseas they seem much bigger carriages than you see in NZ.  

 

 

 

 

The wider the gauge the better the ride  however as a previous poster said Queensland ,AU  has 3'6" gauge  as well and they have a version of high speed trains.   Most likely too late and expensive to convert or add a new standard gauge line now. Interesting that the first rail line from Auckland south was standard gauge and later converted to narrow gauge.  That said the NZ loading gauge could be beafed up a bit to the same as parts of Africa that use 3'6" and large rolling stock especially locomotives.





Regards,

Old3eyes


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  Reply # 1851617 24-Aug-2017 06:53
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The benefit of narrow gauge is that you can go round sharper corners. Changing to a wider gauge would mean re-engineering sections of track to straighten out any too-tight corners.

 

Not much of an issue on flat land (e.g. Auckland to Hamilton, I guess) but potentially very expensive on steep country.

 

 


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