Waterfront Tram Construction Starts


Construction is about to begin to enable heritage electric trams to run around Wynyard Quarter, seeing the return of trams to Auckland streets for the first time in 50 years.

The 1.5km loop will run clockwise along Jellicoe Street, down Halsey Street, along Gaunt Street and up Daldy Street in time for the RWC.

Two trams are being leased from Bendigo - a W2 and an XI.

How it's expected to look in Gaunt St

The tramway will be very similar in appearance to MOTAT’s in Western Springs and the heritage circuit in Christchurch.

This is the tram we are getting from Melbourne

Construction includes the laying of tracks and road renewal, as well as installing the over-head wires at approximately 6m in height.

The aim is to tackle the hardest part of job during the quieter holiday period, to minimise disruption to businesses, residents and traffic. This involves laying the curved track at the corner of Gaunt and Daldy, and at the corner of Gaunt and Halsey. Traffic will be rerouted around the tram works, which will be carried out in sections.

The project involves:

  • Construction of the tramway infrastructure
  • Supporting overhead infrastructure  including poles and overhead wires at approximately 6m in height
  • Tram stops
  • Removal / pruning of existing  Pohutukawa trees on Halsey Street and Gaunt Street
There are two stages.  Stage 1 provides a permanent track within  Jelllicoe, Halsey and Gaunt streets and a temporary route running parallel to Daldy Street.The second will further integrate the tram route and associated infrastructure (such as light columns, tram stops and street furniture) into the built form.
There are four stops proposed around the circuit. These have been chosen to serve the existing and potential activities,
catchments and access points into the quarter.
North Halsey Street / Gateway Plaza
This stop has been located to serve the eastern end of Jellicoe Street. This includes  the key destinations of North Wharf, Gateway plaza, the Viaduct Events Centre and the future Hotel on sites 15/25.  This stop will also pick up pedestrians moving across the waterfront axis from the CBD via the Wynyard crossing bridge and future Te Wero bridge. The kerb will be modified on Halsey Street to accommodate the tram stop. A temporary kerb will be built out to run alongside the track. Kerbs will be raised at tram stops to allow for easy boarding and disembarking.
East Gaunt Street
This stop is located to the south east corner of the circuit within walking distance to the Fanshawe Street bus stops, the Victoria Park precinct and the southern area of the Viaduct (Lighter Quay). This is the closest tram stop to the CBD and will serve people both arriving into and leaving the Quarter.

South Daldy Street
This stop will be integrated with the proposed bus stop and will provide an interchange option for people enteringor leaving the Quarter. This stop is also located adjacent a proposed “central park.”

North Daldy Street

This stop located at a key point in the Quarter will in the first instance serve Jellicoe Street, Jellicoe Plaza, Silo Park,  Sanfords and North Wharf.
Tram stops will be identified by a flag sign and pole as illustrated.
The stop on the southern section of Daldy  Street will ultimately be integrated with the future bus stops that will be installed by Auckland Transport.  As an interim measure, a pole and flag sign wbe constructed to identify the tram stop. If required street furniture can be installed at a later date without detrimental effect to pedestrian amenity. Future furniture would be kept to a minimum to avoid street clutter and to maintain pedestrian movement along the footpath.

The plans for Jellicoe Street East and Gateway Plaza have been modified to allow for the integration of the tram track and associated poles. The Halsey Street upgrade will also be modified to include the tram infrastructure There are existing Pohutukawa street trees on the eastern side of Halsey Street. These trees are semi–mature specimens reaching between 4-6m in height. While the most northern tree will be removed to accommodate the new tram stop, the remaining trees will be retained and will require pruning to obtain adequate clearance from the electric wires.   A replacement Pohutukawa
tree will be provided as part of the upgrade of the Halsey Street road reserve, and a tree maintenance plan will be prepared to address the ongoing maintenance of the existing tree canopies.
The tracks have been moved as far possible towards the centre of the roads to provide maximum separation between the tram wires and trees/kerbing etc.
Following the marking of the tracks on Halsey Street, pole locations have been revised to clear adjacent trees. In addition all poles on Halsey Street and Gaunt Street will be marked out on site to determine exact proximity to nearby trees. Pole locations can then be adjusted to ensure that all poles stand outside the drip line of affected trees. There is dense planting proposed for Jellicoe Street which will need to be maintained in a manner that will provide 0.5m clearance from the tram wire.
A comprehensive planting management plan and maintenance regime was approved as part of the resource consent for Jellicoe Street East. The project architects have advised that maintaining adequate wire clearance will be able to be addressed through the formative pruning and limbing up of these trees as they reach maturity.
The electricity transformer for the tramway is to be located within a shipping container beside the tram storage building.
Tram poles are required about every 25m along straight stretches of the circuit, with more required where the track bends at stops and intersections.
The proposed Jellicoe Street poles are being modified to include a 4m outreach arm to support the tram wires. This prevents additional poles from being installed and reduces visual clutter along the streetscape. An extra tram pole will be required in the one instance where the light poles are in excess of 30m apart.A multi-function pole is being proposed around the rest of the loop which, in the first instance, will provide support to the tram wires.

How it's expected to look in Daldy St

Existing light poles along Halsey, Gaunt and Daldy Streets will remain in place for the time being and will eventually be replaced by adding additional luminaires. In many cases around the track, the pole will not be able to sit on the existing footpath as the 4m outreach arm will not reach the centre line of the tracks. In these cases, it is proposed that the tram poles be installed on concrete bases positioned off the kerb, between car parks.

On the northern section of Halsey Street, the poles will be installed in their final locations acounting for the upgrade works proposed. These will be incorporated into the proposed footpaths which will be significantly wider than they are currently.
The existing street light columns are being retained with Halsey, Gaunt and Daldy Streets. No new lighting is proposed.

Meanwhile the new ASB HQ in Wynyard Quarter is all go. Kiwi Income Property Trust agreement with Auckland Waterfront Development Agency and ASB to build new the premises is now fully unconditional. Ground works will commence during the first quarter of 2011, with construction commencing by June with completion in June 2013.




  1. Geoff says:

    Very informative, thanks. Great that the trams are to run off the overhead, and not be battery powered as originally thought.

  2. rtc says:

    Really interesting, it’s good that they will run off the overhead rather than battery as Geoff said.

  3. Andu says:

    Yay! Now thats really good news. I hope it leads to more tram links eventually.

  4. Ian says:

    Should be going to Britomart and part way up Queen St . But it is a good start.

  5. Jim C says:

    It would be good if ultimately this set of tracks joins up with Motat tracks.

  6. DanC says:

    Great news, and hopefully stage one for further tracks laid in the future. I would like it to go to the Motat tracks as well. From the existing West Corner, under the Vic Park Viaduct, up Hepburn and so on.

  7. Jarrod Gill says:

    Great to see it finally starting. If they continued the tracks to Britomart next that would be good to see. How about 2 Tram loops in the future. Running up Queen Steet, over Grafton bridge thru Newmarket and Parnell back to Britomart. And the other running along K road, Ponsonby road down College Hill back to Britomart. 2 continuous loops. That would make it so easy to get around the central city. One day.

  8. Cam says:

    Looking forward to this it will be a good addition to the wynyard project. They do need to extend it to Britomart as soon as possible though.

    I like the idea that’s been presented of having a heritage tram route running from here to western springs via Ponsonby and Parnell to connect with the MOTAT tramway. Just imagine a tram running up Ponsonby rd.

  9. Kevin says:

    I prefer see brand or style trams more comfortable than old bomb trams. I like see all new trams in the later future not in the past. It is new flash of best Auckland City.

  10. Patrick R says:

    Sorry to be negative here but this looks like the CHCH Noddy Town approach to Transit. Nostalgic and twee. Its only possible value is as a foot in the door. Can we just please have a real system one day, soon?

  11. rtc says:

    Once this is connected to Britomart, and as long as fares are the same as for the rest of the city’s PT, this loop could become quite busy quite fast. I think it has more function than as merely a tourist loop and is an essential first step. There’s was a huge debate about even doing this, and now there’s just debates about where it should be expanded to next - that’s progress.

  12. Cam says:

    “Its only possible value is as a foot in the door” Yeah agree but i think that was the ARC’s motivation in putting it in there. None of the ususal suspects (Joyce etc) would kick up a fuss about a small tourist tramway, but it gives trams a foothold that can be expanded from here.

  13. AKT says:

    It’s time to get the trams to Western Springs plan before the new council and Auckland Transport.

  14. [...] AKTTrams are back!  85,000 Here For RWC 2011  Integrated Ticketing For RWC2011 [...]

  15. Geoff says:

    Where the lines go next heavily depends upon whether the network is to be tourist-focused, for recreational use, or commercially-focused, for commuter use.

    If recreational, then after Britomart the lines should go to Ponsonby and MOTAT in one direction, and along the waterfront to Mission Bay in the other direction.

    If commercial, then after Britomart the lines should go up Queen St and along Dominion Rd.

  16. Andy says:

    There is plenty to talk about and debates about where to take it next.

    Nevertheless it’s a great first step and one that I think many Aucklanders will be surprised by when they see it for the first time. Has this been fast-tracked for the RWC? I curious to know how long it has been on the plans.

  17. rtc says:

    It was proposed by ARC last year/early this year and funded prior to them going out of existance, it was fasttracked to make sure it could be done at the same time as the Wynward Quarter development, which is itself being prioritised to be completed prior to the RWC. It hasn’t been on the cards all that long.

  18. AKT says:

    @Amdy All the background stories about the battle to get trams can be found in the AKT Trams section http://www.aktnz.co.nz/category/trams-2/
    Mike Lee as ARC Chair was the champion who pushed it.

  19. Roger says:

    Just being a bit picky, I hope the person who created the visualisations does not expect the overhead wire to mirror the track curves.

    Or is this what NCEA produces these days? ; )

  20. Anthony says:

    @roger, and lets hope the poles are a little more creative and colourful like the christchurch ones too.

  21. Andy says:

    @rtc & Jon - Thanks. It’s just a pity we can’t get similar action for other projects. One in particular which I need not say.

    @Roger - haha I thought things looked a little “loose”

  22. damian says:

    @ $5million dollars to build, you have to wonder whether a looped tram is the way to go.

    Interestingly, all the traction power and line systems proposed, (in the technical spec) is redundant technology so it should be interesting to see how they get on when expanding the system.

    It is a shame this project was rushed, as had the client spent more time going out to tender it would have saved them about $500k.

  23. Tramman says:

    Good to see this long talked about project finally happening. The loop by itself is not likely to be of much benefit to most people until an extension gets made to Britomart.

    A tramway up Queen Street would be well used and further extensions such as a Parnell loop, Ponsonby loop, together with a connection to the Motat line, would provide a easy and clean, green way of getting around the central city.

  24. Tee-Jay says:

    I think “the Link” bus route needs to replaced with Tram/Light Rail, (a little less tiki-touring) in and out of the UNI it would be a great start. 2 way service I might add.

    Throw in Dominion Rd, and the Waterfront down to St Heliers, we would have a good introduction.

    When you look how busy Linkbus is and the dominion road runs, that can be the start of a great way to travel in Auckland, and being so heavily patronised will help pay for even more routes.

  25. John Mitchell says:

    What a complete and utter waste of taxpayers money and complete waste of time.
    A bus can do exactlty what is proposed and is available NOW. Trams are old technology, still use the road, interfear with traffic and have to have overhead lines installed ( dont tell John Banks, it will “freek him out”
    If a new system had to be put in a Monorail is a much better solotion, traffic can pass unterneith as normal, operate faster and have more carrages going at one time, also gives you a better view of the city.

  26. JT says:

    What is there on Gaunt St to do? Something a bit closer to town would have been a better option. I know old style trams have character but a modern light rail would have been cool.

  27. Shane says:

    Excellent idea…….All the wynyard quarter developments are looking great. kudos to the architects and engineers involved

  28. chris says:

    As Roger noted, in the pic of Daldy St, the overhead wire curves beautifully between the poles. Only trouble is, the rails - don’t. They’re a series of kinks. How strange…


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