Auckland Electrification Thread

 
Topic moved from NZ and Oceania by bevans on 05 Feb 2015 19:39
  Somebody in the WWW Banned

Location: Banned
Seeing as theres no central thread for this issue..might as well make one. I'll start off with a news article, which has already been posted elsewhere but it'd be good to post again to start off this discussion Twisted Evil

[quote="NZ Herald"]
$1b Auckland rail upgrade powers ahead
By Mathew Dearnaley


Earthworks are expected to start as early as next summer on Auckland's $1 billion-plus rail electrification.

The Government rail agency Ontrack intends starting with big trenches for cables and other underground services, although 40 new electric trains to be bought by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (Arta) by 2013 will be powered by overhead lines.

"You wouldn't like a job on the railway?" Ontrack spokesman Kevin Ramshaw quipped yesterday, contemplating a feverish few months ahead on planning and design work for the project, given Government approval last week in the Budget.

His comment was a far cry from the lean times of the 1980s when the rail workforce was reduced by mass layoffs and only about a million passenger trips a year were taken on Auckland's suburban network compared with more than five million now - and growing fast.

Ontrack, which is responsible for about half the new project's value as owner of Auckland's rail corridors, intends giving priority to electrifying lines from Britomart to Otahuhu and to Henderson.

It will then extend the project to Papakura, and finally to Swanson on the western line.

Diesel trains will continue to carry passengers to Pukekohe and to Waitakere, which is separated from Swanson by a 450m tunnel deemed too costly to modify for electric lines.

The project is expected to cause severe disruption for public transport users.

Arta chairman Mark Ford said the work would put pressure on transport operators to retain customer loyalty.

"It is going to be no easy communications exercise to keep that loyalty during that period because it is going to be extraordinarily disruptive," he said.

Ontrack chief executive David George said the company intended electrifying the network in stages, concentrating first on routes to the most popular destinations.

"We will work with Arta and rail operators Toll and Veolia to reach an accommodation on service issues," he said.

Next summer's work will start with digging big trenches for underground services.

That will be in tandem with other big rail upgrade projects such as a $120 million track duplication trench through New Lynn and the $70 million redevelopment of the Newmarket station and junction.

Although an electric rail system will be run on an overhead 25- kilovolt supply, new underground signals will have to be laid, in ducts to "immunise" them from electrical interference.

Bridges will have to be raised, or the ground dug out under them, to accommodate overhead wires.

The trains will use the equivalent of a year's growth in Auckland's overall power supply.

Ontrack and Arta, an Auckland Regional Council subsidiary, are expected to share costs about equally - meaning outlays of about $500 million each.

The money will come from a new fuel tax on motorists of up to 10c a litre of petrol or diesel although about one-third of that sum will be spent on other transport projects, including roads.

Arta says motorists will gain about 44c of each $1 of benefits from the project through reduced road congestion, and Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee says he is keen for full cost transparency to assure them of value for their money.

The transport authority said late last year, when it presented a business case to the Government, that the cost of electrifying Auckland's rail network would be no more than about $180 million more than the cost of buying a new fleet of diesel trains.

It said lower capital and maintenance costs for trains would eventually make electric rail cheaper than diesel, as faster running times would help boost patronage from about five million passenger trips a year now to 30 million by 2030.

But Arta is responsible for buying trains and building stations, rather than track development, and its other cost assumptions were made without Ontrack's involvement.

Mr Lee accepted last night that infrastructure costs may be higher than initially estimated, but he hoped for savings on buying trains, especially if Auckland could join an order by the Wellington Greater Regional Council for about 70 new units for little more than $3 million each.

The authority's business case outlined a 25-year rail capital spending programme of $1.452 billion - to which operating costs of $2.146 billion must be added - to achieve a goal of train departures every 10 minutes.

A serious development constraint is the Britomart station in downtown Auckland, which needs to be turned into a through station linked to an underground rail loop through central Auckland if it is not to reach saturation point by 2020.

This will cost another $1 billion

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10440850&pnum=0/quote

I wonder what sparks Auckland will choose to go with? I've heard rumours about Bombardier. Be interesting to see what they'll look like compared to Auckland's current rail fleet

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  Branchline Junior Train Controller

On the subject of sharing a order for EMUs with Wellington, is there any word on which manufacturer the Wellington Regional Council is going with? Would be very sensible in having a large joint order to reduce the unit cost of each railcar, but complicated by the different voltages, 1500vDC and 25kvAC. Maybe the new EMU's could use AC traction motors to share as much components as possible with the Wellington trains having the appropriate electrical equipment  to convert the voltages. Pity there doesn't seem to be the money for Wellington in the transport budget to convert as well.  

Still great news for Auckland. This will be a good thread to follow over the next few years.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Exciting times ahead for Auckland.
  otternz Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney
it would make sense for wellington to convert, then it would be easier for the entire main trunk to be electrified in the future if need be.  diesel ain't gonna get any cheaper
  Somebody in the WWW Banned

Location: Banned
Is Wellington intending to replace the Ganz EMU's or just the EE's? From what I've been told, it could be good if both went Wink
  Somebody in the WWW Banned

Location: Banned
[quote="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10445365"]Electric trains may signal an end to level crossings
5:00AM Wednesday June 13, 2007
By Mathew Dearnaley

Pressure is building for rail level-crossings to be abolished in Auckland before the region gets faster, quieter and deadlier electric trains by 2013.

Auckland Regional Council's transport policy committee called yesterday for a staff report on prospects for the region's 61 level-crossings. Government rail agency Ontrack has indicated it is the responsibility of local bodies to build bridges or underpasses if they want to separate road traffic from trains.

Veteran councillor Bill Burrill said the tragedy in Victoria last week in which 11 people were killed aboard a train hit by a truck at a rural crossing was "certain" to be repeated in Auckland if the railway were to be electrified without the closure of level crossings.

"I don't really think we have grasped the issue. It is a lot harder going to funerals than doing something that has to be done."

His warning preceded the deaths of two people in a car hit by a train at a level crossing in the Bay of Plenty last night.

Ontrack's northern regional manager, Phil McQueen, told the committee meeting that his agency had been upgrading level crossings along Auckland's western railways line at the same time as duplicating its tracks.

That included installing new barrier arms.

The agency was reviewing the design of all its Auckland crossings to identify possible safety improvements as rail services became more frequent.

But Mr McQueen said it had always been the responsibility of roading authorities to replace crossings with bridges or underpasses if they decided these were desirable.

"Unfortunately it has proven difficult to close crossings or grade-separate them."

Even so, he said, Papakura District Council was considering separating road traffic from the railway line running through Takanini, where regional councillor Dianne Glenn said traffic often banked up along Great South Rd waiting for trains to pass.

Councillor Paul Walbran said a similar problem faced Glen Eden, where a level crossing right next to the shopping centre caused serious traffic delays.

Yet Ontrack had spent a substantial sum building a large footbridge just up the tracks.

Ontrack spokeswoman Jenni Austin said there had been no vehicle collisions at Auckland's level crossings in the past 12 months, at a time when there were 23 nationally.

There had been one non-fatal accident at a pedestrian crossing which had since been upgraded in the western line duplication, she said.

Of the 61 Auckland crossings, 41 were for vehicles, and 20 just for pedestrians.

Barrier arms were installed at 31 vehicle crossings, and the other 10 had flashing lights and bells.

But Ms Austin said those at Christian Rd in Swanson and St Georges Rd in Avondale were due to be upgraded with barrier arms in future track duplication work.

Despite Mr McQueen's advice about local body responsibility for separating roads from railway tracks, the Government is seen as having set a major precedent by pledging $120 million to bury a kilometre of the western railway line through New Lynn over the next two years.

Ms Austin said that would remove two level crossings, at the notorious Clark St roundabout and at Veronica St.

Ontrack is also discussing prospects with Auckland City Council for closing the Sarawia St crossing in Newmarket, possibly replacing it with a new road bridge from Cowie St to Laxon Terrace as part of a $70 million station and railway junction upgrade.[/quote]

Also albeit not electrification related:
[quote="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10445036"]Otahuhu to get more Saturday rail trips
5:00AM Tuesday June 12, 2007
By Mathew Dearnaley

Train trips between central Auckland and Otahuhu will double from 9am until 3pm on Saturdays, under timetable changes to be introduced next month.

A revised timetable starting on July 2 will also coincide with the opening of a $5 million railway station at the big Sylvia Park shopping centre, which train operator Veolia Transport expects will boost patronage on Saturdays.

Trains will run every half hour on Saturdays on both the southern line through Newmarket and the eastern line through Glen Innes, as they already do on week days.

Despite the extra stop for trains at Sylvia Park, only one minute has been added to expected trip times on the eastern line.

But trains throughout the Auckland network will leave each station seven or eight minutes earlier than they do now on Saturdays, for logistical reasons, and passengers should also look out for minor timetable variations on week days.

The new timetable will also see a doubling of peak-time services on week days between Henderson and Britomart, to four an hour, now that an important 7.5km section of the western line has been duplicated past New Lynn. One timetable casualty causing some concern for New Lynn commuters is their 5.26pm short-run homeward service from Britomart, which will be replaced by a train to Henderson at 5.42pm.

Veolia says it has to make some compromises for the sake of increasing services to and from Henderson because of the longer runs required of some of its trains.

Completion of the $55 million rail duplication project over Queen's Birthday Weekend is already allowing trains to run again on Saturdays between New Lynn and Henderson, after months of replacement bus services bypassing heavy construction activities on the tracks.

But there are unlikely to be Sunday services past New Lynn before the western line is fully duplicated in 2009.

The new Sylvia Park station has been built by Ontrack with money paid by shopping centre developer Kiwi Property Income Trust as a condition of its resource consent from Auckland City Council, and it includes electric lifts to help disabled passengers to get to and from an "island" platform between duplicate tracks.

Ontrack will, meanwhile, hold an open day on June 23 in the Deaf Foundation Hall at 1836 Great North Rd to invite comments from Avondale residents on a plan to move their railway station closer to the town centre.[/quote]
  MelbourneCity Chief Commissioner

"deadlier" electric trains.
What a crock of smeg. Obviously they meant quieter trains make them more dangerous, but they make it sound like trains are a death trap.

I hope they know that there is more chance of dying in a car getting to the station than there is catching a train.
  dat581 Chief Train Controller

Location: The Shire
Does the main trunk electrification go all the way from Wellington to Auckland?
  Centralvulcan Train Controller

No, the 25kv runs from Palmerston North to Hamilton.  This question has been discussed in a couple of other threads, as has the issue about Wellington's electrification.  Basically the 1500v dc system is extending to Waikanae, and the possible northern limit would be Otaki - northern most part of the Wellington Regional Government area.  This leaves a gap of about 70km to the southern limit of the 25kv.  Southern limit of the Auckland system is to be Papakura and the logical eventual terminal would be Pukekohe,  about 20km south. Its approximately 95km from Pukekohe to Te Rapa - the present northern limit of the 25kv.  Its logical for Auckland to be built at 25kv, and then a relatively small number of dual voltage locos could be used to run into Wellington if, in the future, the gaps got closed.
  loud_noises Deputy Commissioner

Location: People's Republic of Auckland

"Somebody in the WWW"

Shocked  I think that's my photo! Who the schitz uploaded it to wikimedia?  Mad
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Pity about this. Adelaide won't be able to have Auckland as it's mentor anymore.

I'm debating wether or not to be shocked over this. Electrification to either systems always seemed so unlikely to me
  Somebody in the WWW Banned

Location: Banned
Pity about this. Adelaide won't be able to have Auckland as it's mentor anymore.
"ARG706"

Mentor? Auckland as a mentor to Adelaide!? The only way I could see that would be the other way around Laughing.

I think TransAdelaide has always been ranked above Auckland's system, for reasons such as these:

- That it runs into the CBD, although since Britomart opened in 2003 that is no longer a real issue Smile
- More modern fleet of railcars, no second-hand trains purchased from tourist railways (Rolling Eyes)
- Higher patronage
- Services operating at all times on all lines (except Tonsley) and late at night, Auckland only gained Sunday services for the first time in 30yrs in 2005!
- Better condition of stations and better ticketing, although a lot of TA stations leave a bit to be desired (*cough Gawler line cough*)
  loud_noises Deputy Commissioner

Location: People's Republic of Auckland
Pity about this. Adelaide won't be able to have Auckland as it's mentor anymore.

I'm debating wether or not to be shocked over this. Electrification to either systems always seemed so unlikely to me
"ARG706"


I think electrification of Auckland has always been inevitable.
  Centralvulcan Train Controller

Re Auckland mentoring Adelaide (or vv) - older readers may recall that Auckland exported Don Brown to Adelaide - from the ARA to the city bus operation - industrial relations improved in Akl and became 'entertaining" in Adelaide - it was know as the "Don Brown School of Industrial relations".  Earlier Sir (John ??) Goodman of the MTT was the adviser to Dunedin that saw that city scrap its trams in favour of trolleybuses.  Part of that programme saw a wonderful film of Adelaide trolleys/trams and trains sent to Dunedin - it ended up in the tip, but was rescued by a passing enthusiast and copies are now around the tramway/bus enthusiast sceen.
  john-ston Junior Train Controller

Location: Britomart Platform 1, waiting for the next train to Whangarei
I think electrification of Auckland has always been inevitable.


It has certainly been suggested many times before; although in one way, I am quite grateful that it is only happening now. Had Halcrow-Thomas been followed, we would have probably ended up with either 1500V DC or possibly 11kV AC (I read somewhere that 11kV was proposed for the NIMT back in the 1950s), while had the Dove Myer-Robinson plan been followed, we would have ended up with 750V DC third rail. At least now, thanks to the delay of the years, we are able to end up with 25kV AC, the superior standard.

In saying that, I doubt that electrification of Auckland was inevitable. It was certainly not inevitable in 1983 when Auckland nearly lost it's rail network.

That it runs into the CBD, although since Britomart opened in 2003 that is no longer a real issue


The original intention of the old Auckland Station was to act as the major terminus; there was always a plan for a tunnel through the city - it was certainly not ideal to have such a large chunk of Downtown Auckland covered in tracks, as was the situation prior to 1930. Like many other things though, it never happened

More modern fleet of railcars, no second-hand trains purchased from tourist railways


Only reason why is virtually no area uses 5' 3" (except Ireland and Victoria). On the other hand, Cape Gauge is used by Western Australia, Queensland, South Africa, and so on

Better condition of stations and better ticketing


Most of our stations are much better than they used to be; and the ones that still have problems are going to be made over

Is Wellington intending to replace the Ganz EMU's or just the EE's? From what I've been told, it could be good if both went


I think it will just be the D/DMs (English Electrics); the ET/EM class (Ganz) still has a great deal of life left in them and not enough units are being ordered to replace them anyway.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
On the subject of sharing a order for EMUs with Wellington, is there any word on which manufacturer the Wellington Regional Council is going with? Would be very sensible in having a large joint order to reduce the unit cost of each railcar, but complicated by the different voltages, 1500vDC and 25kvAC. Maybe the new EMU's could use AC traction motors to share as much components as possible with the Wellington trains having the appropriate electrical equipment  to convert the voltages. Pity there doesn't seem to be the money for Wellington in the transport budget to convert as well.  

Still great news for Auckland. This will be a good thread to follow over the next few years.
"Branchline"


Dual Voltage AC/DC is not necessarily a huge problem. Typically the traction motors are low voltage 1500V DC and there is a stepdown transformer/rectifier from the 25kV to 1500V. Quite a number of exisating trainsets in the UK are dual voltage like this, albeit with 750VDC (half 1500V).
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
If Auckland electrifies at 25kV, and remembering that the North Island Main Trunk is electrified south of IIRC Hamilton "just" south of Auckland, would the Auckland AC be connected to the NIMT AC?  How long is this gap?
  Centralvulcan Train Controller

Details of distances at each end in my post on the previous page....
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The simplest way to interface incompatible electrification systems (or gauges for that matter) is to have a transfer station about 40km from the capital city terminal. Frequent suburban services can reach this interface station connecting with infrequent long distance services.

On the Victorian NE line, after gauge standardisation, the interface station might be Cragieburn, and similarly for Wellington NZ. In this way, the long part of the trip is not interrupted by a gauge transfer in the middle of the night, as used to happen at Albury on the NSW/Vic border.
  Cogload Train Controller

Location: Ooop North
Apart from the Eurostar units the only dual voltage trainsets I can think of over here are 319 units which are 25KV/750V operable.

Plus a few locomotives. I am not that clued up on what runs where though.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Apart from the Eurostar units the only dual voltage trainsets I can think of over here are 319 units which are 25KV/750V operable.

Plus a few locomotives. I am not that clued up on what runs where though.
"Cogload"


Slightly off topic, but what parts of the eurostar network operate on which voltages?

BE
  loud_noises Deputy Commissioner

Location: People's Republic of Auckland
A load of smeg...
"john-ston"


Holy crep it's john-ston! Welcome to Railpage! Hows Lomsoft station treatin ya? Wink
  Somebody in the WWW Banned

Location: Banned
For the record, does anybody here have any photos of the current Auckland system they can share with us? Smile

Thanks.
  john-ston Junior Train Controller

Location: Britomart Platform 1, waiting for the next train to Whangarei
Thanks for the welcome, I am spreading my wings quite significantly, although I am here more for the discussion about Queensland Railways than the Kiwi ones  Laughing

I am trying to get some archaeologists to look for Lomsoft Station. So far, it has been suggested that it is under the ASB building in Auckland  Laughing
  Centralvulcan Train Controller

Not having any Auckland photos on a publicly accessible server I'm happy to pm some views if someone else wants to display them for me.[/url]

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