Ready For 6-Car Trains

ARTA’s new six-car trains will begin on the Western Line from September.
Work is underway at a number of Auckland stations to extend platforms, in preparation for the longer trains.
First on the list are Mt Eden, Mt Albert and Meadowbank, where construction is well underway.

Platform work at Mt Albert station

The next stations will be Orakei, Te Mahia, Takanini and Baldwin Ave and this will be finished in the next few months.

The only work presently going on around Baldwin Ave




  1. Matt L says:

    Any word on whether frequencies out west will also be increasing to 10 mins like what I believe was planned. While I would like to see longer trains I think getting better frequencies would be more beneficial first.

    It does seem that now that the trench works at New Lynn have finished that the network has burst to life with works all over the place, albeit not to the scale of New Lynn. Still it is nice to see improvements and helps to give the impression that the service is improving which can only help patronage.

  2. Jon C says:

    @Matt L they will only say towards the end of the year.

  3. jarbury says:

    Matt, I think that after the Xmas shutdown we’ll see 10 minute frequencies on the three main lines in January 2011.

  4. Geoff says:

    Sounds like it will be five car trains rather than six cars. Will be too awkward to get into Britomart apparently.

  5. rtc says:

    What issue do 6 car trains pose to Britomart?

  6. Nick R says:

    Six cars plus locomotive(s) can only fit on platform 3, the others are only roughly six cars long meaning the locomotive would stick out the end.

  7. Matt L says:

    Nick - Platform 1 and 5 are definitely long enough for a 6 car train plus its locomotive without parts sticking off the end. The afternoon western line express service uses platform 5 and that fits fine even if though there is normally a 2 car DMU parked in front of it. 2 and 4 could probably just fit one in but it would be tight.

  8. I’ve never really understood the fixation with trains. It is understood that rail networks only work when population density is high. The bus system in Auckland is excellent and is well suited to our urban form. Surely there might have been an option to lay hot mix over the tracks and run double or triple carriage buses? If you’ve seen a road rain in the aussie outback you’d know these are feasible. The north shore busway is an excellent example of how this works already.

  9. ingolfson says:

    Richard, if one did what you propose, patronage would plummet immediately. It has been shown all over the world that rail is superior to buses if you compare apples to apples. Sure, triple-carriage buses have their uses, but what you are proposing is ripping something out that works better every day in Auckland, and replacing it with something that would be a step down. Why?

    Even the Northern Busway could be a lot better as a railway line!

  10. Matt L says:

    Nick - I noticed platform 4 this afternoon, it had a SA set on it and there was more than enough room for an extra two carriages.

    Richard - Rail is able to move far more people than a busway ever could. There are also lots of other benefits as well, like the rolling stock usually lasts a lot longer, it provides a more comfortable ride, less drivers are needed etc

  11. Mike F says:

    Ingolfson & Matt

    Have you factored in that in Auckland the bus susidy is around $2 a passenger and train is $7.
    Very expensive way of moving people around for the tax and ratepayer. I suspect that soon train passengers will be paying quite a bit more for the service.

  12. Matt L says:

    Mike F - Have you also factored in the distance traveled by train users vs bus users. The average train journey is over 15km where as the average bus trip is only 3-4km

    Because of the distance issue it is actually more accurate to look at the subsidy on a per passenger per km basis. When that is done you will see the two subsidies are pretty close, 36c per km for rail and 31c per km for buses.

    You also need to factor in that we are currently using old freight locomotives to pull most of the carriages, they are much more inefficient than the modern electric trains which we will be getting. The new trains will bring down the running costs considerably. Also add to this is the fact once we get integrated ticketing we won’t need as many staff on the trains further reducing costs. With things like double tracking finished and other improvements done or on the way there is less chances of faults.

    Rail patronage is also rapidly increasing with the year to date figure of 11% more than the same period last year, some individual months have seen increases of more than 15%. All of this helps to also bring the subsidy required down.


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