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June 5, 2016

Auckland Transport begins construction on $1.7bn City Rail Link project

New Zealand's Auckland Transport has started construction on the NZ$2.5bn ($1.7bn) City Rail Link (CRL) project from the Britomart Train Station.

New Zealand’s Auckland Transport has started construction on the NZ$2.5bn ($1.7bn) City Rail Link (CRL) project from the Britomart Train Station.

The CRL underground rail line will link Britomart and the city centre with the existing western line near Mt Eden, as well as allow trains to run both ways through Britomart.

The project will see construction of 3.4km of twin-bore tunnels up to 42m beneath the city, most of them planned to be built with a tunnel boring machine (TBM).

"It will change the look and feel of Auckland setting the city up for future growth."

Construction is expected to take five and a half years for completion, following which the project is set to provide more trains across the network and direct services to the city centre.

Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy said that the CRL will almost double the number of people on the trains to 30,000 passengers an hour at peak times.

Levy said: "It will change the look and feel of Auckland setting the city up for future growth.

"The CRL is the bold game-changer Auckland has been waiting for."

The work will also include construction of two new underground stations along the route at Aotea and Karangahape, as well as the redevelopment of Mount Eden station.

Auckland mayor Len Brown said: "Auckland Transport is forecasting in the first year of operation an 88% increase in rail passengers travelling to the city centre and a 40% increase in rail patronage across the network in the morning peak.

"The CRL provides the single best solution to meet demand for access to the city centre, to support the city’s fast growing economic development."

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