INDEPENDENT NEWS

IA grant ‘next step’ in regional rail needs

Published: Thu 21 Nov 2002 11:02 AM
IA grant ‘next step’ in meeting regional rail needs
Auckland’s long-awaited rail infrastructure improvements are about to be ramped up after Infrastructure Auckland granted $16.6 million to Auckland Regional Transport Network Ltd (ARTNL), the region’s passenger transport infrastructure company.
The grant is the first made to ARTNL for a rail project and is the next “big step’ in the region’s commitment to rail.
Infrastructure Auckland today granted ARTNL the money for safety and facility upgrades to the rail corridor and stations. The work includes safety fencing and track infrastructure improvements at Quay Park and New Lynn.
Fibre optic cabling along the network and closed circuit television at railway stations will be in place by June 2003 to dramatically improve passenger safety and rail timetable information.
ARTNL is a company owned by six of the region’s councils to own, lease, develop and manage passenger transport infrastructure.
The grant was part of an application which also sought $6 million for the upgrading of three ‘signature’ stations – Ranui, Papatoetoe and Glen Innes - designed to be ready at the same time as the opening of the Britomart Transport Centre next July.
Infrastructure Auckland has decided it will consider the signature station grant in December .
The chairman of ARTNL, Mr Ross Keenan, said the first grant is a ’defining moment’ as it allows ARTNL to get on with the job it was established to do – develop, upgrade and manage the region’s passenger transport infrastructure.
“Naturally, we are pleased to receive this grant because it is crucial in allowing us to do our job,” said Mr Keenan.
“ARTNL has already demonstrated a ‘can do’ attitude and ability to get on with the job with the ferry terminals business unit which is now moving into its next phase of major works at the Downtown ferry terminals.
“We are keen to follow suit with rail, but we can only make these projects happen for the region if we secure the necessary funding.”

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