The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government.
The passenger rail service will be based on the concept released today by Greater Auckland. It would run five times a day between Hamilton and Auckland, with one return service to Tauranga daily.
“National has let regional rail services rust away but the Greens in government will restore rail as the backbone of New Zealand’s transport system, for freight and for people,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“I expect a lot of people from Hamilton and Tauranga will be attracted by the idea of being able to work and rest while on the train, and avoid Auckland traffic once in the city.
“There’s been a lot of talk about passenger rail to Hamilton. We now have a plan to make this happen in our first term in government.
“The trial will cost $20 million over five years, with the money reprioritised from National’s spending on low value motorways.
"We expect it would take approximately two hours and 15 minutes to travel between Hamilton and Auckland, and three hours and 30 minutes from Tauranga to Auckland.
“If this trial is successful, we’ll look at creating a premium, fast service that would be about an hour quicker. This is estimated to cost around $400 million and could start in 2025,” said Ms Genter.