Auckland rail link budget jumps $1 billion

The same day it was announced that a means of getting additional tax revenue was being ruled out – the CGT backdown – another announcement that a a project committed to will cost another $1 billion more than budgeted.

RNZ: Billion-dollar increase in cost of Auckland’s City Rail Link

The cost of building Auckland’s City Rail Link project has risen from $3.4 billion to $4.4b, it has been confirmed this afternoon.

City Rail Link chief executive Dr Sean Sweeney said a revised cost envelope for the 3.45 kilometre-long train line has been submitted to the Crown and Auckland Council for approval.

“The $1 billion cost increase on the previous $3.4 billion estimate made in 2014 reflects significant changes impacting the project in the past five years,” said Dr Sweeney.

“No-one could have foreseen the competitive pressures that have occurred in the construction industry over the past few years and the impact that has on costs, particularly for a project the scale and complexity of the City Rail Link.

“Last year, a decision was made to increase the scope of the project to accommodate longer, nine-car trains at stations. Planning today for a city that will be much bigger in the future reinforces the benefits the City Rail Link City will deliver to the way people travel, work and live in Auckland.

No one could have foreseen that increasing the scope of the project might increase the cost?

The extra cost will be split between the Government and Auckland City.

City Rail Link is now being constructed by the so-called Link Alliance – a group of six companies including Tonkin + Taylor and Downer NZ.

It said the revised higher cost came from four areas:

  • Contingency and escalation costs ($310m)
  • Construction costs ($327m)
  • Accomodating longer, nine-car trains ($250m)
  • Non-direct cost ($152m)

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said tighter financial management will help fund the additional $500 million requested by City Rail Link Limited.

Like the tighter financial management campaigned on in the last election? Tighter still now?

11 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  17th April 2019

    The ‘scope’ increase is small, doesn’t account for most of the extra cost. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a revision of the station fit out costs .
    The other thing I don’t understand is the Britomart station upgrade costs. I followed the original station upgrade and we we told it was ready to run the rails under the old PO part to connect to a new tunnel outside the station, instead they had to ‘lift’ the whole PO to fit the trains underneath …..what was going on.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  17th April 2019

      The Hamilton/Auckland train is likely to be another fiasco (it flopped before) People will have to drive to The Base (a very popular shopping centre a few km out of town) to catch the train. Last time they had to go to Frankton, a suburb near the CBD. They then have to find a park, of course. The train will stop at various places on the way, which adds ??? to the journey. People will have to travel to wherever they work….sounds attractive, doesn’t it ? There is also the small point that not everyone begins work at the same time….

      If it was a non-starter last time, I can’t imagine what will be different this time.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  17th April 2019

        The trial will cost about $80,000,000 for five years. Even I can work out what the per annum cost is.

        It’s a five hour trip in total, and two trains will be going each way am and pm.The cost of the trip is reasonable ($12.20) but I suspect that hardly anyone will want to use it. By the time they’ve gone to the Base and parked, they’re likely to have a six hour commute every day.

        NZ’s population can’t really keep commuter trains going, alas.

        • duperez

           /  17th April 2019

          NZ’s population, Auckland’s population mightn’t be able to afford to keep commuter trains going. Can NZ’s population, Auckland’s population afford to not look for alternatives to worsening road congestion?

          The road works are like perpetual sprints which are an exercise in running on the spot.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  18th April 2019

            The local buses here are forever late as the one I took today was, then it was held up by logging trucks. The result was that I was running late all day and went all day with nothing but a drink of water. The problem is that the lateness and constant timetable changes make the buses an unappealing option, I would imagine. One that was meant to leave at 1.15 left at 1.50. The taxi drivers’ best friend.

      • Duker

         /  18th April 2019

        People drive to train stations now, even the North Shore Bus line has a massive carpark at Albany which is filled each day.
        Driving a ‘short distance’ to park at the train station isnt the problem. Its part of the solution.

        The details say it will start at Frankton the main rail junction for Hamiton and then stop again at Rotokauri/The Base
        https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2018/12/20/hamilton-to-auckland-start-up-rail-service-approved/
        In reality they need an all day service not just two in the morning and two in evening

        • Duker

           /  18th April 2019

          The business case seems to say the running costs at $7.0 mill per year . So dont know where the $80 mill comes from .
          Thats definitely affordable

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  18th April 2019

          I was under the impression that it began at The Base…that’s what the paper said. If people have to drive from the far side of town to Frankton, they may well decide to forget it and go on. The Base may be more of a starter. Or it may not. Two and two is not enough, and a 5-6 hour trip will not appeal.

  2. Gezza

     /  17th April 2019

    TVNZ’s 1news at 6 gave it a negative slant.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  17th April 2019

      3 did, too; it’s hard to see how it could have been shown in a good light.

      Its timing could hardly have been worse.

  1. Auckland rail link budget jumps $1 billion — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition