Hamilton-Auckland Service Closer


Waikato politicians, transport officials and rail advocates have experienced first-hand a Hamilton-Auckland passenger rail trip.

Yesterday more than 40 people, including rail party members, councillors and members of parliament, departed Frankton Railway Station on a Silver Fern train.

The train terminated at The Strand railway station in Parnell, which has been under consideration as a possible end point for the service.The rail working party was established last September following strong public interest for a passenger rail service.

As part of its investigations into the feasibility of a service, the working party has been exploring detailed timetabling options, infrastructure requirements, and costings prior to making a decision on a preferred option.

As well as experiencing first-hand the features of the Silver Fern railcars and the trip by rail to Auckland, today’s one-way rail trip was used by the group to look at potential stops at The Base, Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Te Kauwhata, Tuakau, Papakura, Newmarket and The Strand.

Last year's Tuakau station protest for a rail service

The Hamilton-Auckland Silver Fern service could take 96 passengers and reach its final destination in approximately 2 hours, with the train reaching maximum speeds of 100km/h during the journey.

Working party chairman Norm Barker described the rail trip as the ideal opportunity to experience what the service would be like for Waikato residents.

“The working party and other passengers were able to view where train stations and platforms could be built, as well as those that exist but which would require upgrading,” Cr Barker said.

“We passed in comfort through stunning Waikato countryside, including ecologically significant areas such as the Whangamarino wetlands. I think the tourist potential that such a scenic experience might also deliver was a pleasant surprise.

“Today’s journey also gave all stakeholders the opportunity to be fully engaged in discussion which could take the Waikato one step closer to getting a Hamilton-Auckland service,” he said.

In Auckland, during the meeting which followed the train trip, the working party discussed:

  • the development of a business case to apply for NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) funding
  • whether a regional rate would be levied by Waikato Regional Council to fund operating costs for the service
  • Auckland Council contributing funding due to the likely benefits, including the easing of congestion on its motorwaysthe preferred train stops for the service and possible off-peak travel times.

The re-done Strand

Cr Barker said the party would meet again later this month to finalise recommendations to be provided to the partner councils in September.

If the proposal is approved to go through to formal consultation, it would occur during the first half of next year as part of the 2012-2022 Long Term Plans. Then, if endorsed by the public, details for the implementation of the service would need to be worked through before the service would begin.

The working party comprises representatives from Waikato Regional Council, Auckland Council, Hamilton City Council, Waipa District Council and Waikato District Council, as well as members representing the NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail, Auckland Transport and Campaign for Better Transport.

Auckland Council Transport Chair Mike Lee who travelled on the train addressed the group.




  1. Carl says:

    only 96 people?

  2. Chris R says:

    Invited guests - that is the maximum for a single railcar.

  3. Simon says:

    Why don’t they extend it to Tauranga?

  4. Andrew Miller says:

    It’d be great to see this restarted. In the 80s there was a Tauranga and Rotorua Silver Fern service. Exceptionally good it was.
    Would a daily Auckland-Bay Of Islands train similar to the TranzAlpine be a great idea?

  5. Simon says:

    Great speech from Mike - except I rather he`d push a free link transfer or transfer to Britomart at Newmarket than a bus from the Strand.

    @Simon They haven`t even got the Hamilton to Auckland and vv service up and running yet - give them some time! And I have been using Simon since this forum first started so you can find yourself another name thanks.

  6. KarlHansen says:

    @oldSimon - so what? Do you think newSimon wants to tick you off? Why tell him to fob off then? Do you think people want to trawl through years of messages just to make sure their name is not taken? Play nice.

  7. Scott says:

    @oldSimon, Names on this site aren’t required to be unique.

    If you are worried about your online identity being hijacked:
    1. - choose an obscure username
    2. - Get a avatar/gravatar

    I don’t know much about number two, I think you go to http://en.gravatar.com/site/signup and set one up, then Jon’s blog will automatically call it from the hash of your email address. This will provide another level of identity.

  8. Simon says:

    What I`m worried about are comments being attributed to me that I haven`t made and that I don`t agree with either. And it wouldn`t require the other poster to trawl through years od posts to find my posts either. I think it would be a good thing if names on this blog are unique so that others can`t use the same name. And why should I, as first here, have to change MY username? Surely those who come to the blog later should alter their names if someone is already posting under that name.

    And Karl you`re the one talking about fobbing off not me. I just asked the other poster to post another name.

  9. Patrick R says:

    Simons both, if you are concerned about your comments being attributed to the wrong person you really should use more that a [fairly common] first name. Generally bloggers and commenters who identify themselves are taken more seriously as they have to justify their views better too. Of course anonymous ones can be useful too but that is a different matter.

    At least whack on and initial.

  10. Jon C says:

    I have considered requiring people to use their real name. It works for Facebook and seems to be the new policy of some overseas blogs .

  11. Scott says:

    Perhaps a post encouraging regular posters to set up a avatar would be good.

    I would stop posting here if I had to use my full name. I am in the job seeking phase during my last year of study so am concerned what a Google search of my name brings up. Facebook has controls to limit public access so is not a good comparison.

  12. AKT says:

    @Scott Yes the dreaded Google. I would hate anyone to lose their job.

  13. Antz says:

    Just shorten it or use your initials

    Like Anthony M or something….even a nickname would help. -.-’

  14. KarlHansen says:

    @OldSimon - I felt your post was very off-putting to somebody who just came to this blog and posted, and then was told “don’t do that!” (post under what one assumes is his real first name). I’ll accept that giving offense wasn’t intended, but it certainly could have been taken, just as OUR little interchange now has given some offense between us a bit.

    @AKT - How would you ever check that the “real name” is the real name? And why would you want to lose the people who would not contribute if they felt they could be googled (or worse, criticised by their employers - such as Auckland Transport - for posting). Employers have long arms these days, even without real names.

    You’re just “AKT” or “Jon C” yourself, why should other people not keep being “SomebodyT” or “RailFan” or whatever… anonymity is part of a lively exchange, I think. Please keep it.

  15. Jon C says:

    @Karl Dont stress. I am not making any changes especially in view of some of the people who do comment here and do work in the industry bringing their insights


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