Auckland CRL Britomart station works

NEW ZEALAND: Cross-Auckland rail tunnel project promoter City Rail Link Ltd has submitted a formal request for more funding from the government and Auckland Council, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on construction works, the supply chain, resourcing, materials and labour costs.

The cost of building the 3·45 km twin-bore tunnel with two underground stations is now estimated at NZ$5·493bn, a NZ$1·074bn increase on the NZ$4·419bn approved by the sponsors in May 2019 which was itself an increase on the NZ$3·4bn estimate agreed in 2014.

Contractor Link Alliance is now expected to complete construction by November 2025. KiwiRail and Auckland Transport will then undertake testing and commissioning ahead of the opening to passengers.

‘In Auckland we endured two Level 4 lockdowns, a further 280 days of restricted working conditions and we lost 3·2 million hours through illness among staff, with 800-plus workers infected’, explained CRL Ltd CEO Dr Sean Sweeney on March 15.

  • The geographic board has formally adopted the proposed names for the four stations on the City Rail Link: Maungawhau, Karanga-a-Hape, Te Waihorotiu and Waitematā. ‘It’s about reinstating the traditional names of the area — looking back to a time before concrete and skyscrapers — when people lived off the land. They reflect the mythology, atua [gods], people and aspects of early life indigenous to the landscapes’, said Māori engagement forum member Pāora Puru.

 Read more about the City Rail Link project in the January 2023 issue of Railway Gazette International magazine.