NEW ZEALAND: Dedicated company City Rail Link Ltd assumed responsibility for delivering Auckland’s cross-city rail project with effect from July 1, the day after agreements were signed by Finance Minister Steven Joyce, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff.

‘City Rail Link Limited is a new company owned jointly by central and local government, with the sole and express responsibility of successfully delivering the game-changing City Rail Link project’, explained Joyce. ‘This is a complex and critical piece of infrastructure that will unlock major development opportunities across central Auckland. It is crucial we have a single joint entity running the project, solely focused on delivering a high-quality result for the city while effectively managing the investment of both the Crown and Auckland Council.’

The 3·4 km double-track line will run underground from Britomart station through the central business district to connect with the existing western line at Mt Eden station.

Bridges said CRL is ‘Auckland’s top new transport priority’, which would ‘double the capacity of the whole existing rail network and provide significant travel time savings for commuters’.

In May the government committed to funding half of the capital cost, estimated at NZ$2·8bn to NZ$3·4bn, through allocations in the annual budgets from 2017 to 2020.