Details on the Hamilton-Auckland train trial

Night Talk 19/12/2018

Leah Panapa talks with Susan Trodden, TRON (The Rail Opportunity Network) spokesperson, on today's announcement of a Hamilton-Auckland train service.

A train running between Hamilton and Auckland won't be fast enough to start with, but will be better than sitting in traffic, according to Hamilton mayor Andrew King.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced on Wednesday a business case had been approved, allowing for the fit-out of stock and detailed design of infrastructure.

He said it was an "exciting step" towards a five-year trial service expected to begin in March 2020.

The trial's total cost, including the service operated by KiwiRail, is estimated to be $78.2 million, including $68.4m from the NZTA and $9.8m from local authorities.

The planned refurbished diesel units will have toilets on-board as well as WiFi.

Mr King told RadioLIVE's Summer Breakfast the last time a train ran between the cities it was doomed to fail, but this one will have proper investment to ensure it won't.

But it will be slow to start off with.

Night Talk with Leah Panapa, 7pm - 12am this week on RadioLIVE, and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.