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Te Huia Waikato-Auckland Commuter Train inaugrated

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After a gap of 20 years commuter trains are again running between Hamilton (similar populations to Cork City) and Auckland (similar pop to Dublin).

The commercially operated Waikato Connection was discontinued in 2001 as a result of poor patronage and attempts to revive the service failed in 2008 as a result of political opposition to funding a passenger service, the region receiving $1 Billion to build a motorway instead.

The main challenge facing the service is the lack of direct access to stations in central Auckland with passengers having to change trains at Papakura and use Auckland Transport electric suburban services as a result of a combination of pathing difficulties and poor co-operation between the regional bodies sponsoring the services.

A bit like passengers from Drogheda and Dundalk having to change trains at Malahide and take the DART to Connolly and the city center.

Its just about possible that the service may succeed despite having to change trains at Papakura as journey times in the morning and evening rush hour may be similar by road and rail as the motorways in the Auckland region are like carparks during the morning and evening peaks and driving the M50 feel like a quiet country drive.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/439867/long-awaited-train-service-between-waikato-and-auckland-begins

The locos used on the service is basically Kiwirails version of the Irish 071, the coaching stock re-builds or re-built ex BR MK2 D&E stock.

The Government looked at high speed standard gauge rail with a $12B price tag rather than an upgrade and electrification of the existing 3'6" gauge line with tilting trains similar to Queensland, so it will be interesting if "Te Huia" survives the next general election.

 

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