Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says today’s announcement of the first trip for Te Huia – the new passenger rail service between Hamilton and Papakura – shows that working in partnership is critical to delivering results for communities.
The launch date for the Te Huia service has been set for Monday 3 August 2020.
Hamilton City Council has been responsible for funding and for the provision of the infrastructure including building the new Transport Hub at Rotokauri and upgrading the Frankton station.
The Waikato Regional Council is operating the service, working alongside Hamilton City, KiwiRail, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Waikato District Council and Auckland Transport.
The Rotokauri Hub is part of Hamilton City Council’s $2B 10-Year capital investment across the city to enable and support planned, sustainable growth and look after the city’s future transport, infrastructure and community facilities.
“A growing city and a growing region must cater for all modes of transport,” Mayor Southgate said.
“We have to think beyond just private vehicles and ensure people can get around our city and connect with other major centres safely, efficiently and in ways which suit them.”
“This is an exciting step forward for Hamilton and the Transport Hub is part of a bigger growth package supporting mass transit. It has came out of the Hamilton to Auckland Corridor Plan which is a government, local government and iwi partnership to progress urban growth between the two cities.”
The total project cost to develop the Hub, including land costs, design work and additional roading, is $29M, of which $18.5M was contributed by central government through Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
When it opens the Hub will service more than 170 bus movements per weekday along with two morning peak rail services to Auckland and two returning evening services. The bus movements will quickly grow to over 400 per weekday.
The rail service will commence with two return services on weekdays timed to get commuters to Auckland in time for the start of the work day, with one return Saturday service. It will start in Frankton, stopping at Rotokauri and Huntly. There is also potential following the future electrification of the line between Papakura and Pukekohe for a Sunday service.
“The new rail service will be great for commuters and day-trippers and is a true partnership between local, regional and central government as well as Crown agencies,” Mayor Southgate says.
“There’s been a real commitment to making this happen, and I’d like to acknowledge the drive of Cr Dave Macpherson who has championed this project for many years.”
The majority of the Rotokauri Transport Hub will be complete on launch day, including the rail platform, park and ride facilities, bus interchange, roading upgrades, passenger bridge and stairs.
The lifts at Rotokauri may not be complete due to international supply chain issues which have delayed delivery of the machinery. The Council is working closely with Downer NZ to get the machinery delivered and installed as soon as possible.