Auckland Mayor Len Brown has announced a significant reduction in the cost of the City Rail Link (CRL) from $2.86 billion to less than $2.4 billion lowering the price of Auckland's number one transport infrastructure priority by about 20 per cent.
A significant part of that cost reduction is an Auckland Transport (AT) decision to redevelop the existing Mt Eden Station and connect it to the CRL rather than build a new underground station at Newton.
That design change will save more than $150 million, improve the reliability and journey time of train services, minimise construction disruption and reduce property purchase requirements.
The other significant saving is a decision that additional electric trains will not be required as part of the core CRL project, saving more than $330 million.
Len Brown says the ongoing review of the design and costs for the project shows we can get the CRL operational using the existing fleet. It is expected new units will be required for the CRL’s future developments, as the network expands.
“This is an exciting development and makes a 2016 start date for the construction of the CRL even more realistic, especially at a time when more and more people are choosing to get out of their cars and travel by rail*,” says Mayor Brown.
“Aucklanders are behind this, the business and investment community are behind this, we just need to get on and get it done.”
Mayor Brown said he expects more good news on the cost of the project to come as optimisation, value engineering and advances in tunnelling technology are taken into account.
*The year to June 2014 saw a 13.9% increase in Auckland rail patronage, to 11.4 million trips.