4.2 Preferred Service Option
Two options were shortlisted by the RWP for final assessment ¡V
Option 1: Terminating Hamilton Services at The Strand and providing bus service
connections to the CBD
Option 2: Extending an existing MAXX Pukekohe - Auckland service to depart from
Appendix 2 contains the comparison between the two shortlisted options.
Considering the operational viability of the various options and taking account of
customer preference and other information available, the RWP decided upon Option 1
as being the preferred option for operating the service, subject to a visit to the Strand
station to assess its viability as a terminating station from a user¡¦s perspective.
A train trip on the Silver Fern railcar and a visit to the Strand station was conducted by
the RWP, Councillors from partner Councils, MP¡¦s and other interested parties, including
members of the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT). RWP members also walked from
the Strand to Britomart to assess the distance and the suitability of the walk.
The walk from the Strand station to Britomart, was assessed as being ¡¥meandering¡¦ and
unsuitable in rainy/bad weather from a user convenience point of view. Following this,
the RWP modified the preferred option to be:
Preferred Option: Hamilton to Auckland service via the Waterfront route (through
Sylvia Park/ Glen Innes) onto the Strand station and carrying on to Newmarket as
the termination point for the peak service.
It should be noted that dwell time at Newmarket will need to be a reasonable time to
offload passengers. This will need to be confirmed by Auckland Transport and ultimately
approved subject to the final timetable.
The service proposal includes
„h Two peak and two off-peak trips every weekday
„h Services five days a week excluding public holidays
Doc # 2049332 Page 17
The service will be operated by one Silver Fern (SF) railcar with a seating capacity of 96
passengers to start with.
Once the implementation is confirmed, the viability/potential of providing a connecting
bus at the Strand station to link up with the proposed train service will be investigated.
Further details of the preferred option are provided in the following sections.
It is proposed that the peak service will start around 0600 in the morning from Frankton
station and around 0610 from The Base. The maximum expected travel time is 2 hours
and 20 minutes approximately. However, indications are that travel time could be closer
to 2 hours. Further investigation on this will be carried out once implementation is
confirmed. The travel time is expected to be the same as travelling via Newmarket to get
to the Strand due to lesser congestion on the Waterfront line. The expected departure
and arrival times as shown below
Peak services (2 peak services or 1 peak return service)¡V
Depart Hamilton 06:00
Arrive Strand, Auckland 08:20
Arrive Newmarket, Auckland 08:27
Depart Strand, Auckland 17:30
Arrive Hamilton 19:45
Off peak services (2 off peak services; one departing Auckland and one departing
Depart Auckland (Britomart) 09:30
Arrive Hamilton 11:45
Depart Hamilton 14:30
Arrive Auckland (Britomart) 16:45
Depart Auckland (Strand) 17:30 (return peak service noted above)
It needs to be noted that the final timetable will need to be worked out with Auckland
Transport and KiwiRail closer to the time of implementation of the service. This will
depend on time slot availability and network capacity at the time of implementation.
Once the implementation is confirmed, a further survey or focus groups could be
conducted to gauge the timetable preference especially for the off-peak service.
The proposal is for the service to run between Frankton station in Hamilton and
Newmarket in Auckland (via the Strand station) at peak times. The off peak service
could operate between Frankton in Hamilton and Britomart station in Auckland. The
proposed service includes stops at the following stations:
Doc # 2049332 Page 18
The Base, Hamilton
Huntly, Waikato District
Te Kauwhata, Waikato District
Tuakau, Waikato District
The Strand, Auckland
Map 1 below shows the route and stops for the proposed Hamilton to Auckland service
Map1: Route and stops for proposed service
Doc # 2049332 Page 19
Map 2: Route of service in Auckland
Doc # 2049332 Page 20
4.2.3 Rolling Stock
As stated earlier, one Silver Fern railcar (96 seats capacity) will be used for the start up
service. The railcar has been refurbished to a high standard including, new interiors,
larger windows and power points for laptop use. Catering services will also be provided
onboard. Refurbishment cost will be included in the annual operating cost.
4.2.4 Infrastructure Requirements
Site visits were made by a KiwiRail engineer to assess the infrastructure requirements at
the different stations in July 2011. In summary, the assessment shows:
„h No work will be required at Frankton and Huntly stations for the start up
„h Te Kauwhata and Tuakau require tidying up and amenity work and
„h Ngaruawahia and The Base need more extensive work in terms of a platform,
pedestrian crossing and the like.
The key assumptions/points in the report are:
„h Some of the existing stations are lower than the standard height requirements
but the existing low level platforms are suitable for the start up service and that a
portable step, if necessary, will be provided on the train.
„h It has been assumed that there will be no disability access at the stations for the
start up service (like ramps for wheelchairs), which would otherwise be additional
cost for the start-up.
„h Costings do not include costs for secured parking facilities
„h Station upgrade costs will be met by the territorial authority in which the station is
Alternative cost information has also been provided by Hamilton City Council based on
their preliminary assessment of station development costs for a station at The Base.
Summary of startup stations upgrade costs (within the Waikato region) are provided in
Table 3: Station upgrade costs
Stations Startup upgrade costs
Frankton, Hamilton $0.0
The Base, Hamilton $0.65
Te Kauwhata $0.11
The full assessment report is included as Appendix 3.
Doc # 2049332 Page 21
In the proposal put forward by KiwiRail, the ¡§out of pocket cost¡¨ of motoring has been
considered to be the most appropriate approach to fares, which has been successfully
used on the Capital Connection rail service between Palmerston North and Wellington.
This service is similar to that proposed for Hamilton ¡V Auckland.
In order to improve the commercial performance of the proposed service and reduce the
subsidy requirements, KiwiRail have suggested limited discounts. Single tickets will be
available with 10 trip tickets at a 20% discount. There will be no additional discounts for
children or other concession groups, including no SuperGold concessions.
The proposed fares are ¡V
Base fare: $24 one way (including GST).
Average Fare: $19.95 across all passenger trips (including GST)
Average Fare: $17.35 excluding GST
Fares have been considered constant throughout the contract period assumed. It needs
to be noted that the actual fare structure will need to be set once the implementation is
full report: http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/PageFiles/18093/Final%20recommendations%20report.pdf