CRL and rail costs blowout

Surprise surprise!

The rail network for Auckland is already experiencing massive cost blow outs as KiwiRail fesses up that its existing network needs more cash from the public purse.

Auckland’s rail network could require a further $1.4 billion in upgrades – on top of the $2.5b to be spent on the City Rail Link – for it to hit maximum potential.

State-owned enterprise KiwiRail has told Auckland Council the city’s existing rail network needs costly upgrades – some described as urgent four months ago.

But while the CRL gained momentum with Prime Minister John Key announcing the Government will make provisions for work to start two years earlier than planned, councillor George Wood says he’s worried about a lack of progress in KiwiRail’s concerns being addressed.

Wood believes those concerns strike at the heart of the CRL’s efficiency and the promise Auckland will have a state-of-the-art rail network by 2023. ?

Minutes from a council infrastructure committee meeting last September, which councillor Wood attended, detail a KiwiRail presentation and a diagram that showed about $400m was needed prior to the CRL opening to upgrade the wider rail network.

On top of that, between $500m and $1b would be needed “post-CRL”.

General manager David Gordon said those figures were initial projections.

“Until more formal costings are done, they remain KiwiRail’s general view of the level of spending required in Auckland in addition to the CRL,” Gordon said.

In other words it is likely to be massively more than the projections. I’ve never yet seen actuals come in under projections on anything the Council does.

This is just the beginning. Auckland construction costs are already inflating as suppliers and builders increase margins in a city that has a lot of big projects on.

I hazard a guess?that the cost of the tunnel will be significantly higher too. It’s so predictable it’s ridiculous.

And it proves that these big-spend transport projects just don’t work.

I’d love to know the cost benefit analysis on the actual cost of rail. Bet it looks sick.


– NZ Herald