City Rail Link
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Media Releases

MEDIA RELEASES

Below on this page are the latest news releases issued in 2019.

News releases from 2018 and 2017 can be found here.

Earlier CRL-related releases from the AT CRL Project Team, New Zealand Government and Auckland Council can be read here.


Mercury Plaza deal clears way for CRL Station

17 September 2019

City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd) confirms it has completed negotiations to occupy central Auckland’s iconic Mercury Plaza for the City Rail Link (CRL) project.

 The Plaza, located in Mercury Lane off busy Karangahape Road, is the site of a long-established Asian supermarket and food hall.  It will be deconstructed  and the site used to support construction of the Karangahape Road underground station entrance and  tunnels.   

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 “While a lot of people will be sad to see the closure of Mercury Plaza and the culinary diversity it brought to Auckland,  the site’s temporary use by CRL Ltd is contributing to the transformation of the area and of public transport across wider  Auckland,” says CRL Ltd’s acting Chief Executive, Patrick Brockie.    

 Mercury Plaza’s food court developed around the  Asian supermarket run by the Ng family.  For 25 years the supermarket serviced the needs of the Asian community, and stall owners fed hungry Aucklanders with a variety of dishes from countries across Asia.  It is due to close on 20 October.

 CRL Ltd says its agreement to occupy the site followed successful discussions with the owners of the Mercury Plaza and with the community of operators of the food stalls there.  The supermarket will reopen in Panmure in early 2020 as the New Gum Sarn Supermarket.

 CRL Ltd says the Mercury Plaza site will be used to support excavation of a mine shaft on a next-door site for the  station to be built up to 42 metres below ground. Access to the Plaza site will help ease the impact of construction on the local community. 

 Karangahape Road is one of two underground stations being built as part of the CRL project, which includes construction of twin tunnels 3.45-kilometre-long below central Auckland linking the existing Britomart and Mt Eden stations. 




Big programme of CRL works starting in CBD

16 September 2019

City Rail Link (CRL) works for the Aotea underground station in central Auckland start tomorrow .

 The first stage involves locating and shifting utilities such as power and water lines along Albert Street between Wyndham and Wellesley Streets, and on some surrounding streets.

 “Tomorrow marks the start of the biggest contract of work for CRL,” says Dale Burtenshaw, Deputy Project Director for the Link Alliance, which is  delivering the work for City Rail Link Ltd.

 “Getting the utilities out of the way clears the ground for the substantial construction programme that will follow - completing the rail tunnels, building the Aotea and Karangahape underground stations and revamping the one at Mt Eden.”

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 Utilities work will be completed in three stages.  The sequence is:

  • Albert Street, between Victoria and Wellesley Streets

  • Albert Street, between Wyndham and Victoria Streets,

  • Victoria Street and Kingston Street .

Work hours are between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday. 

 The first programme of work involves locating exactly where utilities are under roads and footpaths.   Relocation crews will follow,  digging trenches 50 to 60 metres long as utilities are shifted. Each trench will take around four to six weeks and will involve digging on the road and footpath up to property  boundaries. As utilities are moved, trenches will be back-filled and footpaths reinstated. 

“Our key consideration is to keep the project area safe, easily accessible, well lit, and clean. For noisy works, we’ll use acoustic shielding to reduce their impact on people who live and work nearby,” Mr Burtenshaw says.   “For this first stage of work, we’re keeping site fencing to a minimum, moving it along the street as the utilities relocation progress. Outside the immediate works area, we’ll use waist-high barriers for safety.”

 The Link Alliance will manage impacts through the following actions:

 Traffic changes

  •  One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained along Albert Street

  • Onsite signage will keep people informed of upcoming changes to the road layout

  • The Link Alliance is working with Auckland Transport buses and people moving through work sites.

Pedestrian access

  • Safe property and pedestrian access will be maintained at all times with temporary diversions in place as work progresses

  • For their safety, people may need to be diverted at times around work sites. Wayfinding signage will help them find and access shops, businesses and homes

Noise and vibration

  •  A micro-piling rig which uses drilling rather than ramming will be used for support piling, creating less noise and vibration

  • Noise mats around trenches will reduce noise from concrete saws, excavators and hydro-excavators

Visual impacts

  •  Mesh fencing will be used around work sites for lighter and clearer sight lines

  • Water-filled barriers and temporary fencing will maintain visibility for businesses and shops

  • Link Alliance-branded mesh scrim will be used as fencing at its compound site.

Construction of the Aotea station is planned to start in 2020.  Aotea Station is expected to be New Zealand’s busiest rail station, used by some 54 thousand people daily when Auckland’s transformational City Rail Link opens in 2024.






Date set for next phase of CRL work in Auckland’s CBD

05 September 2019

The first stage of City Rail Link (CRL) work for Aotea Station in Auckland’s CBD will start on Tuesday, 17 September.

The staged work, which involves locating and shifting underground utilities, is along Albert Street between the Wyndham and Wellesley Street intersections, and on some surrounding streets.

“This marks the start of the biggest phase of CRL construction to give Aucklanders the modern rail network their city needs,” says Dale Burtenshaw, Deputy Project Director for the Link Alliance. 

“Before we can construct the Aotea underground station we first need to locate and then get utilities such as power and water lines out of the way of the station’s footprint.   It will take us about six months to do that.”    

Mr Burtenshaw says there is a commitment to minimise the impact from the work.   

“Given the challenges of working in the middle of a busy city, we acknowledge the that our work will, unavoidably, disrupt life for those who work and live in the CBD for some time.  We are working to manage those impacts as effectively as we can.”

The main impact from the utilities work will be noise and vibration, changes to road layouts, changes to access for those on foot, and visual impacts.

Measures will be in place to keep safe access to property and footpaths at all times, keep buses and other traffic moving through the work zones, and to reduce noise and vibration.  

The Aotea work is a key part of the huge CRL contract to complete the twin 3.45-kilometre- long rail tunnels between the Britomart and Mt Eden stations, build two underground stations at Aotea and Karangahape Road, and rebuild the existing one at Mt Eden. The Link Alliance will deliver the work for City Rail Link Ltd.

Work for the Aotea station will be delivered in three phases.  When utility works are complete, station construction starts in early 2020 and will continue until late 2023.  Streetscape improvements follow, with the CRL opening in late 2024.

“I want to assure people that we will be sharing more exact timetables around the timing of our work to help keep them informed and to help them plan,” Mr Burtenshaw says.  

Throughout the project, people will be kept up to date with construction progress and its impacts.


CRL design wins on world architecture stage

05 September 2019

Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) project has made an impressive debut on the world stage, winning recognition from the international architectural community for cultural identity.

CRL won the cultural identity award ahead of hundreds of other entries from more than 70 countries at an  international architecture festival known as WAFX.  The project is the first from New Zealand to win the award.   

WAFX judges describe CRL as New Zealand’s largest public art project.

“The project is designed to be a powerful expression of indigenous cultural identity, reflecting Auckland’s unique identity as the largest Māori and Polynesian city in the world, and to create an authentic and globally recognisable image of the city for the future,” they say.

City Rail Link Ltd’s acting Chief Executive, Patrick Brockie, says “recognition of the project’s  commitment to ensure that Mana Whenua identity rightly has a significant place in the design of the project, is a fantastic achievement.” 

The CRL entry’s focus is on the concept designs for the two new underground stations to be built in central Auckland  and the re-development of the existing station at Mt Eden. All three stations will reflect the stories and designs representing the historic and cultural ties Mana Whenua Iwi have with Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and wider Aotearoa (New Zealand). 

Eight Auckland-based iwi – Te Ākitai Waiohua, Te Kawerau ā Maki, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Tamaoho Trust, Ngāti Te Ata and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei – are closely involved in the design of the stations working with CRL Ltd, architectural firms Jasmax and Grimshaw, and with  other consultants through the project’s Mana Whenua Forum.

Kaitiaki for Te Àkitai Waiohua, Adrian Pettit, congratulated City Rail Link Ltd, the architects and Mana Whenua alike for crystallising design that is not only indigenous and contemporary but is wholly reflective of Tāmaki Makaurau's unique point of difference; namely, Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau.

 “ For those who chose to walk this path, such recognition - international or otherwise - is deeply gratifying,” Mr Pettit says.

 Mr Brockie also congratulated the Mana Whenua Forum and the project’s architects for impressing international judges with distinctive designs unique to New Zealand.

“What they’ve done is put New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project firmly on the world stage with designs that demonstrate there is a whole lot more to CRL than concrete and steel,” Mr Brockie says.

WAFX awards recognise the world’s most forward-looking architectural concepts, and future projects that tackle global issues challenging architects.

WAFX leads up to the World Architecture Festival where the CRL is a finalist in the Future Projects – Infrastructure category and a contender for the Festival’s Supreme Award.   Festival winners will be announced in the Netherlands in December.   

More information is available at https://www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/wafx-2019


Finished contract clears the way for CRL tunnels

21 August 2019

Ground-breaking work to divert an underground obstacle in the path of Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) project has finished, clearing the way for the rail tunnels to be built at Mt Eden.

It involved construction of a 423-metre-long stormwater main 17 metres below ground, replacing an existing stormwater main obstructing CRL’s path. The $16.5-million contract is the first to be completed for the huge $4.4-billion CRL project.

“The contract was a small but important step and its completion marks the start of huge strides we’re about to take as our main work ramps up to deliver CRL for Auckland in 2024,” says CRL Ltd’s Chief Executive Dr Sean Sweeney.

The new main was excavated by a micro-Tunnel Boring Machine called Jeffie after an international naming contest organised by CRL Ltd attracted some 30,000 entries.

Jeffie’s journey underground, originally planned to take 15 weeks, was completed in seven.

It excavated some 2000 cubic metres of spoil, and, at the same time, installed 208 segments of new concrete pipe. Each segment was two metres long, almost two metres wide and weighed seven tonnes.

Jeffie also used technology not seen in New Zealand before to navigate a tight underground curve accurately and avoid hard volcanic rock. Hydraulic joints spreading the pressure evenly between each segment allowed the TBM to be steered around the curve without damaging the pipes.

Her underground journey also included an encounter with Auckland’s distant past – the remains of a tree that had been destroyed in a volcanic eruption some 20,000 years ago.

“Jeffie went superbly well and did a fantastic job for us building the new main,” Dr Sweeney says.

Excavation of the main was completed in March. Since then C6 work focussed on successfully connecting the new and old mains, constructing risers and removing ground-levels works associated with the contract. The new main will be handed over to Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters.

Jeffie, meanwhile, has arrived in Ecuador in South America for a new tunnelling project.

The project was delivered by March Bessac Joint Venture. March is a Christchurch-based  construction company and Bessac is a French tunneller.

A core team of 20 were involved in day-to-day construction operations although some 330 workers were inducted in to the site over the life of the contract.

CRL Ltd is planning a community “thank you” coffee morning on Friday (23 August). It will be serving free coffee between 8am and midday from 16 Nikau Street, Mt Eden.

“It’s our way of acknowledging the welcome support we have had from our Mt Eden neighbours to help deliver one stage of CRL and prepare for the next,” Dr Sweeney says.

The first programme of work for the substantive C3 tunnels-and-station contract will start next month. C3 includes rebuilding the existing Mt Eden station, and joining the new tunnels with the western line.

Work continues on two other CRL contracts: C1 (lower Queen Street/Britomart) is due to finish mid-2021 after the completion of street improvements; C2 (Albert Street between Custom and Wyndham Streets) planned to finish late-2020 after street improvements; CRL Ltd also partners KiwiRail on project-related improvements to the wider rail network.

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Big phase of CBD work to start for City Rail Link

05 August 2019

First details of the biggest phase of work in central Auckland for the City Rail Link project, including construction of the new Aotea underground station, have been released today by the Link Alliance.

The programme will extend the twin rail tunnel already built under Albert Street further south to Mayoral Drive, the site of the new Aotea Station.

“Work is quickly ramping up for a project that is going to give an international city like Auckland the modern rail network it needs, but there is no easy way to deliver a job like this in the middle of a busy CBD,” says City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive Dr Sean Sweeney.

“I want to assure people that CRL Ltd and the Link Alliance will together do all we can to minimise disruption but a project as big and as complex as CRL presents many challenges that will, unavoidably, impact on life in the city centre for some time.”

Works for the Aotea Station and tunnel will be delivered in three phases:  early works including the relocation of utilities, main works including construction of the station and finally landscaping and  public realm improvements.

Locating and shifting utilities will start in September, as well as removing canopies from buildings to create space for piling works.

The main works to extend the tunnels to Mayoral Drive are expected to start in the first quarter of 2020. The cut and cover trench will include extensive station excavations along Albert Street.

To keep people and workers safe, vehicle access will be restricted along this section of Albert Street.  Footpaths will remain open to access homes, shops and offices.

There will be times when either the Victoria Street intersection or the Wellesley Street intersection with Albert Street will need to be closed to traffic. However, they will never be closed at the same time to keep traffic moving, particularly buses.

The precise timing of traffic restrictions and closures and the main works are still being finalised. The Link Alliance is working with Auckland Transport to keep public transport and people moving through this part of the city.  

A series of meetings with local people and community groups got underway today. They include lunchtime open days at Griffith Gardens on the corner of Wellesley Street and Mayoral Drive. The open days run 11.30am-1.30pm Monday-to-Thursday this week.

Dr Sweeney says there is a commitment to continue to share  more exact timetables for the delivery of the various stages of work to keep people informed and to help them plan.

“I acknowledge there will be some who will be nervous about what lies ahead. It will take time to complete this stage of a City Rail Link that will change Auckland forever,” he says. “We appreciate people’s understanding as we work to complete it as quickly as possible.”

When the CRL project is delivered in 2024 it will double the capacity of the Auckland rail network, making it a better place to live, work and play.

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Underground work for new K Road station this weekend

31 July 2019

Underground investigation work for the new City Rail Link station at Karangahape Road will impact on traffic in neighbouring Beresford Square this weekend (3/4 August).

Several parking spaces will be temporarily closed in Beresford Square and through traffic will be unable to access Pitt Street when a trench is cut to locate utilities under the square. Pedestrians will be able to access the majority of footpaths, and people will still be able to access properties.

“The City Rail Link project appreciates the support it has from the community, and we will do all we can to minimise any disruption from this necessary work,” says City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

Work will start at 7am on Saturday. City Rail Link Ltd ’s contractors plan to have the work completed and the road restored in one day but have set aside time on Sunday if bad weather disrupts their programme.

Beresford Square is the location for one of the entrances to the Karangahape Road underground station.  Utilities need to be located and possibly moved before construction of the station can start.

This weekend’s programme is the first of several underground investigations to be undertaken in Beresford Square, and nearby streets in the next few weeks.

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Companies sign up for Auckland’s City Rail Link project

19 July 2019

City Rail Link Ltd’s commitment to transform public transport in Auckland took a huge step forward today when it signed a contract with the Link Alliance to build the main stations-and-tunnels programme of work for the City Rail Link (CRL).

Transport Minister Phil Twyford, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, CRL Ltd, the Link Alliance and kaumatua representing Tāmaki Makaurau Iwi were present for the signing as were project partners KiwiRail and Auckland Transport.

Mr Twyford says the signing is significant  for Auckland and for New Zealand.

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“Given the competition world-wide to build infrastructure, the whole country can take pride in the fact that such a high calibre of international companies want to come here and help build a better future for New Zealand,” Mr Twyford says.

Mr Goff describes CRL as a gamechanger for Auckland.

“It will double the capacity of our rail network, reduce travel times into and through the central city, and help take cars off the roads, as well as driving investment in our region. The signing of this agreement will help ensure the delivery of the world-class transport system our city needs.”

“With the population of Auckland growing by 40,000 a year and public transport journeys exceeding 100 million in the past year, the completion of CRL can’t come soon enough,” Mr Goff says.

Signing the Project Alliance Agreement (PAA) formally clears the way for the three construction companies and three design companies in the Link Alliance, together with CRL Ltd, to start work building two new inner-city underground stations, upgrading the existing Mt Eden station, and completing tunnel  construction. It is the single biggest programme of work for CRL, known as the C3 contract.

“Our signatures drying on the PAA represent a significant milestone not only in the history of this project, but for Auckland’s future as well with the delivery of a modern rail network,” says City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney, said.

The New Zealand and international companies in the Link Alliance are Vinci Construction Grands Projets S.A.S, Downer NZ Ltd, Soletanche Bachy International NZ Limited, WSP Opus (NZ) Limited, AECOM New Zealand Limited and Tonkin+Taylor Limited.

Dr Sweeney says the companies have a proven record of delivering large and complex infrastructure.

“Aucklanders can be confident that a project transforming the way they travel, live and work will be delivered to a high standard, on time in 2024, and on budget, leaving behind an outstanding legacy for the city,” he says.

The Chairman of the Project Alliance Board, Pierre Bourgeois, says the Link Alliance is proud and excited to be delivering a landmark project for Auckland.

“As a truly international team with members from more than 25 countries, we look forward to working alongside local communities to safely construct the City Rail Link over the next five years. Together with CRL Limited, we are committed to realising the outstanding legacy CRL will leave for New Zealand’s biggest city,” Mr Bourgeois says.

The PAA and other project-related documents were signed inside the Chief Post Office heritage building in central Auckland, whose 4000 tonnes of 106-year-old masonry is being suspended on temporary foundations above the construction of a section of the tunnel below it.

The signing follows CRL Ltd’s announcements last April of the Link Alliance as its preferred bidder, and details of a $1 billion increase in the project to $4.4 billion after a rigorous and comprehensive review of project costs. The project’s two sponsors – The Crown and Auckland Council – subsequently approved CRL Ltd’s request for additional funding.

To ensure project momentum was not lost, the Link Alliance began work on a $75 million Early Works Contract while commercial and legal negotiations continued to finalise the PAA.

Construction of three smaller sections of the project at lower Queen Street/Britomart and north Albert Street in the city centre and utility-based work at Mt Eden are already underway.

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City Rail Link makes entrance on the world stage

09 July 2019

City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd) is excited that the project has been chosen as a finalist in the prestigious World Architecture Festival to be held in the Netherlands later this year.

The entry for the Auckland-based City Rail Link (CRL) was selected from more than 1000 projects from 70 countries, and is a finalist in the Future Projects – Infrastructure category.

“It’s a very hotly contested international competition and it’s fantastic that the Festival has acknowledged our project’s very important partnership with Mana Whenua,” says CRL Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

The CRL entry’s focus is on the concept designs for the two new underground stations to be built in the inner city and the re-development of the existing station at Mt Eden. All three stations will reflect the stories and designs representing the historic and cultural ties Mana Whenua have with Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and wider Aotearoa (New Zealand).

Eight Auckland-based iwi – Te Ākitai Waiohua, Te Kawerau ā Maki, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Tamaoho Trust, Ngāti Te Ata and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei – are closely involved in the design of the stations working with CRL Ltd, its architects Jasmax, and other consultants through the project’s Mana Whenua Forum.

"Our expectation as Iwi Mana Whenua is that our holistic values and principles are reflected and embedded in the designs, and that the unique point of difference we bring to Tāmaki Makaurau is there for all to see and appreciate,” says Adrian Pettit, Kaitiaki for Te Ākitai Waiohua.

The design concept draws on the Māori Creation story and the emergence of the natural world from Te Kore (the nothingness) to Te Pō (the darkness) to Te Aō Marama (the light).

“When they are built, all New Zealanders will easily recognise the stories and the designs in the stations as something that is unique and special to our country,” Dr Sweeney says.

The CRL entry was submitted to the World Architecture Festival by  Jasmax on behalf of CRL Ltd, Mana Whenua, and other design consultants. Judging will take place in early December in Amsterdam.

More information about the World Architecture Festival is available at: www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/2019-shortlist

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New focus with completion of Albert St Rail Tunnel

04 July 2019

Construction of the City Rail Link (CRL)  tunnel under the northern end of Albert Street has finished, marking a shift in focus towards enhancement work along the busy central Auckland thoroughfare.

A concrete pour of the final section of tunnel box roof was completed successfully today (Thursday, 4 July) below the Albert Street/Customs Street intersection.

“There is now a finish line in sight for our work at the north end of Albert Street,” says City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney. “There is still work to do underground, but we can now start to turn our attention to people-friendly improvements along Albert Street itself.”

The project re-opened the Albert Street/Wyndham Street intersection last month, and work is planned to start mid-July on the first phase of enhancement work. Improvements include wider footpaths, more open places for people to share, and tree plantings. Work will start from Wyndham Street and head block by block north towards Customs Street.

“If work goes to plan we are hoping to return the first section of enhancements back to the community around Christmas,” Dr Sweeney says.

The northern section of Albert Street tunnel between Wyndham and Customs Streets is 348 metres long.  The final concrete pour now connects it to the one under the Commercial Bay property development, linking Albert Street to the CRL lower Queen Street/Britomart station construction site.

Construction in Albert Street began in December 2015, with the diversion of a major stormwater line to create room for the tunnel. Over the past three-and-a-half years, over a million hours were worked on site, 2,500 tonnes of steel bar reinforcement tied together, and over 10,000 cubic metres of concrete poured.  In that time, many kilometres of stormwater, electrical, gas, sewerage and internet lines were relocated or strengthened. Backfilling the trench around the tunnel will be completed in late winter.

Dr Sweeney acknowledges the work of the contractors, and the support from the local community.

“Construction like this in the middle of a city is never easy for anyone – the risks for workers that come from working in confined spaces, and the disruption for people living and working nearby – but we have taken a big step towards building a project that will change the way people can travel around our city,” he says.

The next programme of tunnel construction work on Albert Street is south of the Wyndham Street intersection. Planning by CRL Ltd and companies in the Link Alliance include strategies to manage the impact of those works when they start later this year.

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Improved access at busy CBD intersection after CRL works

14 June 2019

Road users will from this Monday (17 June) have much easier journeys through a busy central city intersection where access has been restricted  for the past three years because of the City Rail Link (CRL) project.

The re-opening of the Wyndham Street West intersection with Albert Street in an east-west direction will allow people to go straight across Albert Street in either direction again – east along Wyndham Street down to Queen Street or west past St Patrick’s Cathedral towards Hobson Street.

“We’re delighted to be able to reopen the intersection for through traffic,” says City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney. “I want to thank people for their support and patience during our necessary work in the area,  I acknowledge it’s been a long wait, but I hope it will now be easier for people to access this section of Albert Street.”

Some restrictions will continue for both road users and pedestrians around the intersection. Vehicles will not be able to make right turns into Albert Street from either direction on Wyndham Street, and the footpath on the north or cathedral side of Wyndham Street West remains a construction zone.
Reinstatement of the footpath will start soon.

“There’s still work to be done and we would ask everyone, whether they are walking or using the roads, to continue to take care,” Dr Sweeney says.

Improved access marks the end of an important phase of CRL work in the area. A trench 18 metres deep that was dug across the Wyndham/Albert Street intersection for the rail tunnels has now been backfilled, and work on renewing and shifting underground utilities is finished.

Construction of the tunnels under Albert Street is due to finish next month and backfilling the full length of the tunnel trench will be completed in October. Reinstatement of the first section of Albert Street will start at end of this winter and will be completed in 2020.

Dr Sweeney says while the end is in sight for CRL works at the harbour end of Albert Street, construction on other sections of the CRL project is now ramping up.

“Further disruption will be unavoidable, but we are committed to minimising impacts and working with our partners to keep traffic, particularly bus services, moving through our work sites,” Dr Sweeney says.

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Plan for CRL’s Mt Eden’s works

06 June 2019

People working and living in a part of Mt Eden near the Western Rail Line are being advised to plan for some disruption next week because of necessary ground investigation work linked to the City Rail Link (CRL) project.

The roads affected are Porters Avenue and Fenton and Haultain Streets.

The work will be staged at different locations starting next Monday, 10 June, and will continue until 20 June.

It includes hydro-excavation, drilling boreholes to recover rock and soil samples, and excavating trenches to accurately locate existing utilities – gas, power and telecommunications systems, and drains.

“We want to thank our neighbours in the area for the support they give us, and we’ve planned our works programme to minimise any disruption for people,” says City Rail Link Ltd Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

Access to properties will not be affected by the works. As a safety measure during work hours,  affected roads will be reduced to one lane, and a 30km/h speed limit and traffic management will be in place. Several on-street car parks may be unavailable for up to three days at a time, and walkers may need to make short diversions.

“Our contractors will be working in a restricted and live road corridor and we ask everyone to take care in the area for their own safety and the safety of our workers,” Dr Sweeney says.

The hours of work are 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday. There may be some work on Saturdays if required. Work at each location is expected to take between one and three days. The work may create some noise and vibration.

The ground investigations will give CRL engineers the information they need to design some of the structures that will be constructed to connect the new CRL line with the existing Western Line track at Mt Eden.

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CRL Ltd welcomes sponsors’ funding support

30 May 2019

City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd) welcomes today’s Budget announcement that the Government has approved its $500 million share of additional funding to complete Auckland’s City Rail Link project.

The Budget announcement follows a decision earlier this month by Auckland Council to approve its $500 million share of additional funding. The Crown and Auckland Council are both sponsors of the City Rail Link project.

CRL Ltd sought endorsement for additional funding from its sponsors when it released details in April of a revised cost envelope for the project of $4.419 billion – a $1 billion increase on a $3.4 billion estimate made in 2014. The increase followed a comprehensive review of project costs that included changes to the project’s scope, and a competitive construction environment.

“Today’s Budget news and Council’s earlier decision are big and positive steps forward, and our sponsors’ confidence clears the way for us to get cracking on delivering a project that will have a huge impact on Aucklanders,” says CRL Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

In addition to construction already underway at two inner city sites – Lower Queen Street/Britomart and lower Albert Street – work has started on an Early Works Contract relating to design, consents, permitting and mobilisation ahead of the project’s main C3 contract to complete the tunnels and build the underground stations.

CRL Ltd will endorse the Link Alliance as its confirmed bidder for C3 next month before they  sign a Project Alliance Agreement (PAA) in July. The main works on C3 are planned to start in early 2020.

“Together, confirmation of funding, the Early Works Contract, and wrapping up our negotiations with the Link Alliance are important developments that will allow project momentum to continue to ensure the project is completed in 2024,” Dr Sweeney says.

The City Rail Link project is New Zealand’s largest transport infrastructure project and will be completed in 2024. It includes construction of twin 3.45-kilometre-long tunnels up to 42 metres below central Auckland including two new underground stations at Aotea and Karangahpe Road, improvements to Mt Eden station, and converting the existing Britomart station from a dead-end to a through station.

When completed there will be more trains in and out of the central city more often, and the number of people within 30 minutes travel of Auckland’s CBD will double.

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Plan for CRL’s Queen’s Birthday Works

28 May 2019

Aucklanders are being advised to plan for some disruption to travel in parts of the city during the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend because of necessary work linked to the City Rail Link project. The areas affected include part of Mt Eden, and rail services on some sections of the Southern and Eastern Lines.

In Mt Eden, ground investigation work starts this Saturday, 1 June, in Boston Road and Normanby Road. The work includes hydro-excavation, drilling boreholes to recover rock and soil samples, and excavating trenches to accurately locate existing utilities – gas, power and telecommunications systems, and drains.

People will still be able to access properties. As a safety measure during work hours, Normanby Road will be reduced to one lane, and a 30km/h speed limit and traffic management will be in place. Several on-street car parks may be unavailable for up to three days at a time and walkers may need to make short diversions.

“Our contractors will be working in a restricted and live road corridor and we ask everyone to take care in the area for their own safety and the safety of our workers,” says City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

The hours of work are 7am to 7pm, seven days a week and are planned to continue in this location until 6 June. The work will create some noise and vibration.

“We appreciate the support we get from our neighbours, and we’ll be doing all we can to minimise any disruption for them while our ground investigations continue,” Dr Sweeney says.

The ground investigations will allow CRL engineers to design some of the structures that  will be constructed to connect the new CRL line with the existing Western Line track at Mt Eden.

Further information is available at: https://www.cityraillink.co.nz/mt-eden-work-city-rail-link

Upgrades on Auckland’s rail network, including construction of an additional line for a third platform at Òtàhuhu Station to improve services when CRL opens, will mean buses replace trains on some sections of the Southern and Eastern Lines. More details are available at  https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/service-announcements/future-works-on-the-auckland-rail-network/

No weekend construction work is planned for City Rail Link Ltd’s Lower Queen Street/Britomart and Albert Street sites in central Auckland. While access for vehicles remains restricted in Albert Street, shops and cafes in the area remain open over the holiday.

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11-year-olds draw the line for CRL

10 May 2019

Thousands of Auckland children will forever be part of New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project – the City Rail Link project (CRL).

Year six pupils at Auckland’s 540 primary schools have been asked to paint and draw images that will be then be fired onto ceramic tiles and used as permanent wall linings at the new Aotea underground station to be built in central Auckland.

“We’ve chosen year six children – 11-year-olds – because they will be leaving school when the project opens in 2024 and as young adults will be among the first to enjoy the benefits the City Rail Link project delivers for Auckland,” says the Chief Executive of City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd), Dr Sean Sweeney.

CRL Ltd is working with the Ministry of Education, its schools, and Auckland Council’s Sustainable Schools programme to encourage children to use their skills as artists and dreamers and imagine where they would like to go on a CRL train.

“We’ve had many awesome, colourful and delightful works of art – anything and everything from a rail trip to the dairy, to the Eiffel tower, under the sea and to the moon – but there will be some big walls at Aotea and there’s room for a lot more art,” Dr Sweeney says.

Kus Fausett, a teacher at Edendale Primary, encourages other schools to support the Aotea art wall.

“It was fun and engaging for our tamariki as they were able to unleash their imagination on an artwork project that will connect them with their city and its people via the City Rail Link,” Fausett says.

Isabel Hernandez is one 11-year-old artist who describes the idea of the art wall as “pretty cool”.

“When I drew my picture, I just wanted to think about somewhere I’d want to go and hang out, and maybe eat some ice cream. When the train station will be built I’ll be able to see my picture, and the pictures my friends drew as well,” Isabel says.

Aotea Station will be one of the busiest on Auckland’s rail network.

“Tens of thousands will use the station during rush hours, all of them walking past the art walls. The tiles will be an important part of the fabric of CRL – a fantastic legacy lasting 100 years or more,” says Dr Sweeney.

Two copies of each artwork will be fired on to ceramic tiles. One tile will be used at Aotea station and the other will be returned to the pupil’s school as their reminder of the contribution they have made to a project that will have a huge impact on the way the city travels.

CRL Ltd has already received artwork to make around 3000 tiles. Schools wanting to contribute to the Aotea Station walls can contact info@cityraillink.govt.nz

Adding more images as we receive them. To follow this go to https://www.cityraillink.co.nz/resources-for-students-teachers-city-rail-link

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Green light for CRL funding

02 May 2019

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the Auckland Council Governing Body’s approval of an additional $500 million in funding for the transformational City Rail Link was the right decision.

Mayor Phil Goff said, “This project is critical to the future of this city. More than $700 million has already been invested in the first two stages of the tunnel. Without the CRL, Auckland will hit gridlock and the city will grind to a halt.

“The CRL is the biggest investment Council is making in transport infrastructure in the next few years. Securing additional funding ensures it will be future-proofed for growth.

“The additional cost to Council will not involve higher rates for Aucklanders and it will be met without breaching the debt to revenue limit on Council borrowing.

“The cost of the tunnels and underground stations, two of the biggest parts of the project, was determined by a competitive tender process. The increased cost estimate reflects the increase in demand and costs for major construction projects across Australasia.

“A significant part of the cost increase, some $250 million, reflects the need to future proof the tunnels and stations. We won’t repeat the mistake of the Harbour Bridge which was built at half of the size it needed to be and had to have major additions made to it within eight years.

“Another $300 million is money not spent but is there as a contingency against any potential cost escalations.

“Without additional funding, the CRL would not have been fit for purpose. We would have had another Harbour Bridge on our hands which was built at half of the size it needed to be and had to have major additions made to it within eight years.

“We’ve got one shot at getting the CRL right. Approving additional funding today will ensure that we do.

“Providing additional funding to CRLL will require careful management of Council spending. Council will continue to pursue efficiency and value for money initiatives, and take a conservative approach to new spending,” Phil Goff said.

In approving its funding commitment to the CRL, Council approved the following initiatives to generate the additional $500 million:

  • Interest cost savings due to lower market interest rates;

  • A reduction in cash holdings from improved cash management;

  • Re-assessment of the valuation of operating commitments which impact on Auckland Council’s debt policy limits;

  • Agree to progress a strategy to assess future off-street parking requirements for Auckland, including additional investment in park and ride facilities and net surplus to fund City Rail Link (CRL); and

  • Flexibility around the timing of Auckland Council’s CRL contributions.

Funding of the CRL is met jointly by Council and Government on a 50/50 basis.

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Jeffie completes her underground journey

24 April 2019

Mechanical muscle known as Jeffie has completed her underground journey below Mt Eden for Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) project.

Jeffie is a micro-sized tunnel boring machine used to build a new, 423-metre-long stormwater main 17 metres below city streets.

The existing main between Water and Nikau Streets was in the path of the future CRL tunnels and had to be diverted.

“Jeffie’s journey brings the City Rail Link and a much better rail service one step closer to Aucklanders,” says CRL’s Chief Executive Sean Sweeney.

Jeffie began work in January with two jobs to do: excavating spoil and, at the same time, installing concrete segments for the new drain.

She removed more than 2,000 cubic metres of spoil, installed 208 concrete segments, and made a sweeping curve underground to avoid a field of hard volcanic basalt rock in her way.   During the journey, Jeffie encountered a part of Auckland’s distant past - the remains of a tree thought to have been destroyed in a volcanic eruption some 20 thousand years ago.

By tradition, machines that work underground are named after women in honour of St Barbara, the patron saint of miners. Jeffie was a popular name in France some 100 years ago. The machine is owned by the French firm, Bessac, which is part of the March Bessac Joint Venture (MBJV) responsible for the main. She is now being transferred to Ecuador in South America for a new job, and a new name.

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Revised cost for transformational City Rail Link

17 April 2019

City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd) today announced a revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project totalling $4.419 billion, alongside naming its preferred bidder for its substantive C3 Contract to build the underground tunnels and stations and a $75 million Early Works Contract.

CRL Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney, says after a rigorous and comprehensive review of project costs, a revised cost envelope has been submitted to the project’s sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council - for approval.

“The $1 billion cost increase on the previous $3.4 billion estimate made in 2014 reflects significant changes impacting the project in the past five years,” says Dr Sweeney.

“No-one could have foreseen the competitive pressures that have occurred in the construction industry over the past few years and the impact that has on costs, particularly for a project the scale and complexity of the City Rail Link.”

“Eighteen months ago, the value of work in the infrastructure pipeline on both sides of the Tasman was $80 billion – the value of that work is now estimated at $230 billion.”

“Last year, a decision was made to increase the scope of the project to accommodate longer, nine-car trains at stations. Planning today for a city that will be much bigger in the future reinforces the benefits the City Rail Link City will deliver to the way people travel, work and live in Auckland.”

Other factors contributing to the revised cost envelope are higher escalation, or construction inflation costs, and an increase in the contingency risk allowance for any future unplanned events.

“Put together, they have all helped add costs to the project overall. Keeping a growing city moving is a serious challenge, but when we complete the City Rail Link it will double the number of Aucklanders within 30 minutes travel of the CBD.”

Dr Sweeney says CRL Ltd’s own cost review underwent a rigorous examination by two international assessors to ensure the project delivers the best value for money for Aucklanders.

Decisions by the Crown and Auckland Council regarding their endorsement of the revised cost envelope are expected in early May.

After an exhaustive competitive tender process, the Link Alliance (Vinci Construction Grands Projets S.A.S,, Downer NZ Ltd, Soletanche Bachy International NZ Limited, WSP Opus (NZ) Limited, AECOM New Zealand Limited and Tonkin + Taylor Limited) has been announced as the preferred bidder for the C3 contract – the project’s largest package of work.

The Link Alliance was one of two groups of New Zealand and international infrastructure companies that submitted what Dr Sweeney, describes as “world class and competitive bids” for the contract. The other group was a consortium of: CPB Contractors Pty Limited, UGL (NZ) Limited, Beca Limited, Jacobs New Zealand Limited and McMillen Jacobs Limited.

Dr Sweeney says that both these joint-ventures consists of outstanding contractors with a wealth of experience delivering major project both here an overseas.

“The calibre of both the tenders were exceptional. Aucklanders can be confident that the project will be delivered to a high standard leaving behind an outstanding legacy for the city,” he says.

Dr Sweeney says progress on the project will still continue at pace as CRL Ltd starts negotiations with the Link Alliance to deliver the $75 million Early Works Contract over a three-month period. The contract includes work relating to design, consents, permitting, utilities and mobilisation.

“The project is already well underway at Lower Queen Street/Britomart, Albert Street and Mt Eden, and momentum will continue. CRL Ltd will now work with the preferred bidder to get the Early Works Contract underway as quickly as possible.

“This keeps us on track to have this transformational project in place and delivering significant benefits for Aucklanders at the end of 2024.

“Today’s announcements represent huge step forwards for a project that will create accessibility and development opportunities that will allow Auckland to remodel itself as a city that is proudly international,” Dr Sweeney says.  ENDS 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the Link Alliance selected as the preferred bidder?

Two, tier-one consortia submitted world-class proposals to deliver CRL’s largest construction package, C3 main stations and tunnels.

Those proposals were evaluated through a rigorous and competitive tender process to get the best outcome for Aucklanders.

Both consortia bring a wealth of experience both internationally and in New Zealand and have the skills and means to deliver a project of this scale and City Rail Link could not be more pleased to have two such high calibre proposals.

The Link Alliance was selected on the basis of a strong proposal that offered an experienced construction management team, significant commitment to the Alliance from the Executives of the construction firms involved. An efficient construction methodology and innovative engineering ideas.

The Link Alliance brings a phenomenal amount of experience delivering major projects including:

  • NZ Transport Agency: Memorial Park Alliance Projects

  • MTR Hong Kong: Shatin to Central Link 1103

  • Qatar Railways Company: Doha Metro – Red Line South

  • Qatar Railways Company: Lusail Light Rail Transit, Contracts 1&2

To have two such exceptional bidders in today’s climate where the pipeline of infrastructure work is so extensive, is testament to the benefits that this project will deliver and the readiness for it to proceed to the next stage.

What is the contract that CRL Ltd has signed with the preferred bidder?

At this stage no contract has been signed and there are still a number of processes to go through before a contract award recommendation.

CRL Ltd will continue to resolve several commercial matters before the Contract Award Recommendation for C3 is announced in May, subject to all necessary approvals from the project’s Sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council.      

In the meantime, to ensure project momentum continues, CRL Ltd will enter into an Early Works Contract with Link Alliance to carry out design, permitting, utilities and mobilisation works on the contract. The Early Works Contract is valued up to $75m.

While the Early Works Contract is not a commitment to carry out the full C3 contract, it is recognition that Link Alliance is the preferred contractor for C3.

What does the C3 Contract include?

The C3 (main stations and tunnels) contract is the largest of all the CRL contract packages. It includes construction of twin rail tunnels, construction of two underground stations and rebuilding Mt Eden station.  The City Rail Link is the largest infrastructure project undertaken in New Zealand.  

Why is the revised cost envelope higher?

The revised cost envelope reflects higher costs in four key areas: 

  • Contingency and escalation costs ($310 million)

  • Construction costs ($327 million)

  • Accommodating longer, nine-car trains ($250 million)

  • Non-direct cost ($152 million) 

The cost of the City Rail Link project was last estimated in 2014 and there has been significant change since that time.

The construction climate has experienced a significant increase in demand. Less than two years ago, the infrastructure pipeline in Australasia valued approximately $80 billion, whereas it is now valued at approximately $230 billion.

This is particularly evident in Auckland, where there are currently 98 cranes in the city – more than any city in the USA.

This kind of climate has significant impact on constructor availability and appetite for projects and risk as well as things like escalation.

In 2014 the project assumed an escalation of two percent. New Zealand is now experiencing escalation of more than six percent and will do so for the foreseeable future.

Allocation for contingency on the project was underestimated when the project was last estimated in 2014, an independent audit concluded that contingency on the City Rail Link project was below international benchmarking.

Changing the scope and future proofing the project to allow for Auckland’s growth and projected increase in passengers numbers, together with the establishment of City Rail Link Ltd as a Crown Entity, also contribute to the revised cost envelope.

Stations at Mt Eden, Karangahape Road and Aotea in the central CBD are being designed for longer, nine-car trains to allow up to 54,000 people to move in and out of Auckland’s CBD during the rush hours – the equivalent capacity of three Auckland Harbour Bridges or 16 extra traffic lanes. The original scope allowed for 36,000 people at peak times.

Creation of CRL Ltd – with the Crown and Auckland Council has the project’s sponsors – incurred set-up costs not included in the 2014 estimate.

What are the next steps? 

City Rail Link Ltd has submitted the revised cost envelope to its sponsors. The project’s two sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council – will now consider that cost through their processes. A decision regarding their endorsement is expected in early May.

In the meantime, CRL Ltd and the Link Alliance are negotiating the $75 million Early Works Contract and expect work on that to get underway quickly.

CRL Ltd will continue to resolve several commercial matters before the Contract Award Recommendation for C3 is announced in May, subject to all necessary approvals from the project’s Sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council.

Statement issued by Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has said that tighter financial management will help fund an additional $500 million requested by City Rail Link Limited (CRLL) for construction of the transformational underground rail project.

The Mayor’s comments are in response to CRLL requesting from Council and Government additional funding of $1 billion (split 50/50) after announcing that the Link Alliance is the preferred bidder to deliver the new stations, tunnels and rail systems.

Mayor Phil Goff said, “The City Rail Link (CRL) is a critical part of the changes we are making to reduce congestion and ensure we can move around our city.”

“The CRL doubles the capacity of rail through Britomart and in peak hour will have the capacity to carry up to 54,000 passengers.”

“The CRL will significantly reduce travel time from the West and the South,” Phil Goff said.

“The cost of the tunnels and underground stations, two of the biggest parts of the project, was determined by a competitive tender process. The increased cost estimate reflects the increase in demand and costs for major construction projects across Australasia.

“A significant part of the cost increase, some $250 million, reflects the need to future proof the tunnels and stations. We won’t repeat the mistake of the Harbour Bridge which was built at half of the size it needed to be, and had to have major additions made to it within eight years.”

“The additional cost to Council will not involve higher rates for Aucklanders and it will be met without breaching the debt to revenue limit on Council borrowing.”

Funding of the CRL is met jointly by Council and Government on a 50/50 basis.

Mayor Phil Goff says, “It is unfair for Aucklanders to meet half the cost of the CRL when no other part of the country has to do so and I’ve argued that case to Government. The Government has refused to revisit the deal saying that was what was agreed between the previous Auckland Council and National Government.”

“However, Government has agreed to phase the timing of Council’s contribution to enable it to work within the constraints of its budget.”

“Council will make changes in financial management that will enable it to keep under its debt to revenue ratio. It will benefit from current lower market interest rates. Council will also dispose of some non-strategic assets including some parking buildings.”

“The Governing Body of Council has been advised of options to meet the increased costs and will consider those options before making a decision in May,” Phil Goff said.

“The CRL project is the biggest investment Council is making in transport infrastructure in the next few years.”

“Providing additional funding to CRLL will require careful management of Council spending. Council will continue to pursue efficiency and value for money initiatives, and take a conservative approach to new spending,” Phil Goff said.

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Ōtāhuhu improvements start for City Rail Link

10 April 2019

KiwiRail is starting to build a new section of rail line to the third platform at Ōtāhuhu Station in Auckland’s south as part of wider rail infrastructure improvements to prepare the network for the City Rail Link.

Over the next 11 months, KiwiRail will construct the new 1.3-kilometre-long section of track alongside the main line, four new cross-overs to allow trains to switch between tracks, and new overhead line and signal equipment between Ōtāhuhu Station and Portage Road.

The work will allow a third platform to be used at Ōtāhuhu Station for improved train services when the City Rail Link opens in 2024.

The start of work is welcomed by City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney.

“It’s another important step forward for the City Rail Link and the huge changes it will make to allow people to travel around the city more easily,” he says.

KiwiRail’s acting Chief Executive, Todd Moyle, says KiwiRail is proud to create stronger connections through a modern and more efficient transport network for Auckland.

“KiwiRail keeps cities moving, connects workers to cities sustainably and enables 34 million low-carbon commuter journeys each year.”

“We have ambitious plans for New Zealand’s transport future and the City Rail Link is part of this,” Mr Moyle says.

The Ōtāhuhu improvements will support better services for people travelling between Auckland’s south and west when the City Rail Link opens.

KiwiRail staff and its contractor, Total Rail Solutions, will deliver most of its Ōtāhuhu works during weekday business hours. Some work will be completed during weekends and public holidays when there are no trains running and the overhead lines are shut off.

Auckland Transport will upgrade Ōtāhuhu Station.

The Ōtāhuhu works are the latest in a series of upgrades on Auckland’s rail network connected to the City Rail Link. Upgrades were completed at The Strand in Parnell earlier this year, and other work is planned at Henderson and Newmarket.

The City Rail Link includes construction of twin 3.45-kilometre-long rail tunnels between the current dead-end station at Britomart in the CBD and the existing Mt Eden station on the Western Line, and two underground stations.

It is the largest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand and when it opens it will double the capacity of the Auckland’s rail network to carry up to 54,000 passengers an hour at peak times.

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Auckland network prepares for City Rail Link

01 March 2019

City Rail Link Ltd (CRLL) and KiwiRail today celebrated the completion of the first set of wider network improvements required to support Auckland’s transformational City Rail Link when it opens in 2024.

KiwiRail, on behalf of CRLL, has installed a new track cross-over point and other upgrades in The Strand area of the Auckland network, one busiest sections of rail in the city. Over five months, KiwiRail installed the cross-over, and modified the track and overhead lines and signal equipment. The work was completed in intensive blocks, to reduce the impact on neighbours and commuters.

KiwiRail acting Chief Executive, Todd Moyle, a new track layout was required to simplify access to The Strand stabling yard - the area where morning peak services are ‘stabled’ before they come back into service for the evening peak. Over 300 trains travel through this area daily.

“KiwiRail is proud to contribute to a more reliable and resilient rail service for Aucklanders as we continue building stronger connections for a better New Zealand.

“Once the City Rail Link is open and operating, more trains will travel in and out of the city more often. Wider network improvements are required to ensure the increased timetables can be achieved,” Mr Moyle says.

CRLL’s Chief Executive, Sean Sweeney, says the Strand is the first construction project to be completed from a huge programme of work for a project that will have a huge impact on the way Aucklanders travel around their city.

“Just as significantly, it is also the first collaborative piece of work undertaken by KiwiRail and City Rail Link Ltd. We look forward to continuing this relationship on network improvements at Otahuhu later this year.”

“Together CRLL and KiwiRail have demonstrated how well we can work together on work like this, and the wider importance of collaboration as delivery of the City Rail Link starts to ramp up,” Dr Sweeney says.

CRLL is currently evaluating two bids to design and construct twin 3.45 kilometre-long rail tunnels below Auckland’s CBD, two underground stations, the upgrade of a third station, and the installation of track and signalling, safety and communication systems.

The City Rail Link is the largest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand.

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Latest section of Auckland rail link taking shape

08 January 2019

Construction of Auckland’s City Rail Link has taken another significant step today with work starting on construction of the first of the two rail tunnel boxes to be built under the heritage-listed Chief Post Office (CPO) building in lower Queen Street.

Seventy cubic metres of reinforced concrete is being poured for the first base slab, or some of the floor, of the northbound tunnel below the old building.

This pour was an important moment for City Rail Link Ltd (CRLL) and its Contract 1 (C1) contractor Downer Soletanche Bachy JV, says CRLL Chief Executive Dr Sean Sweeney.

“We’ve been working for this moment since July 2016 – for the past 30 months or so, this is what we have been gearing up for. That time has been a challenging one for our C1 contract in lower Queen Street and Britomart. Our teams have been working in some pretty demanding conditions, not only immediately adjacent to a live railway station but also excavating below sea level with the Waitemata Harbour only a few metres away. On top of that, some remarkable skill and innovation has been used to protect the CPO building so that we could get underneath it.”

Dr Sweeney says there is still a lot of work to be done in this area before both the northbound and southbound tunnel boxes are completed later this year.

“Once we’ve finished, it will be possible to walk the first section of the City Rail Link from Britomart station to beneath Albert Street as far as Wyndham Street. As for the CPO building, we are on track to reinstate and return it as part of the Britomart station in late 2020.”

The 3.45-kilometre-long underground City Rail Link between Britomart and Mt Eden will be completed in 2024.

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