Labour appear to have access to new physics and more money

by Cameron Slater on August 23, 2017 at 1:30pm

David Farrar doesn’t believe that’s possible

High speed rail to Tauranga for $20 million – yeah right

The Herald reports:

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern’s $20 million promise to link passenger rail services between Tauranga and Auckland has already hit a snag, with Port of Tauranga’s boss questioning its likelihood. …

Ardern pledged the $20m to establish the first stage of the passenger service proposal – estimated to cost $10m.

If demand is there, Labour would look to invest in stages two and three of the plan, delivering services travelling up to 160km/h throughout the wider region.

The additional $10m would be invested over five years for operating costs.

Rail projects around the world are known to always cost way way more than their promoters claim. We’ve seen this in Australia and the UK. And high speed rail is especially expensive.  The Independent reported:


Britain’s new high-speed rail line will be the most expensive railway in the world with costs per mile expected to reach £403m, according to Government calculations. 

Note that is the cost per mile, not the cost for the whole line. And Labour claims it can do high speed from Auckland to Tauranga for $20 million!

As was covered on Whaleoil in the comments some days ago, the high speed rail costs all around the world have been excessively high.

The Honolulu rail’s record high costs are nothing new, however. When the project ballooned from $3 billion to $5 billion, it was already the highest cost per capita.

“Even at $5 billion, I can definitely say that no rail project has ever cost more per capita than Honolulu’s,” O’Toole said. “At $10 billion or whatever the final cost turns out to be, it will be even more so.”

Spurred by the massive cost overruns, many citizens across the state have signed the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii petition calling for a full independent audit of the Honolulu rail project.

Why governments and politicians keep wanting to put rail everywhere when all that we really want is better roads continues to baffle me.

Look at Auckland.  The transport budget is literally paralysing the Council from doing anything else.  And far from being complete, it’s going to need much more money.  Money that they don’t have.

With that as a background, the Labour party want light rail down Dominion Road, to Auckland Airport and high speed rail between Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton.

When is someone going to dare say we can’t afford any of it?

The briefing cites international construction costs for very fast trains rising from $16 million per kilometre on a rail link in Spain to $110 million per kilometre for the Channel Tunnel rail link into London. More densely populated areas produce higher costs, due to the price of buying land.

$20m for the whole rail link?

Tell her she’s dreamin’