When Kevin Smith told rail conference delegates in Auckland on September 13 that a $6 billion Auckland-to-Airport light rail budget could be reduced to under $1 billion, he was greeted with silence
Raised hands at question time from the audience of local and overseas rail transport experts also disclosed that the South American technology is still not well known in this part of the World, despite its first 18km line being installed in Jakarta 28 years ago.
Since the extensive product development, testing and certification period ended in 2018, a flurry of global interest has resulted in various levels of tendering, negotiating and confirmed constructions for Aeromovel in over 100 locations in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.
The Board Ltd is introducing the revolutionary Aeromovel technology to New Zealand and Australia.
The $6 billion cost for an electrified Auckland City to Airport light rail link is now being questioned by both opponents and proponents of Light Rail. While one answer is to extend Auckland’s heavy rail to the Airport, Aeromovel offers a huge reduction in cost due to its innovative technology
Kevin Smith also advised that the Aeromovel system could be up and running within 2-3 years, depending on the final agreed route and the compliances. The cost also includes passenger stations every 750-1500 metres and the rapid construction method can proceed at the rate of 1km of completed line every 30 days.
The conference disclosed many additional opportunities for light rail in New Zealand.
- “People need to feel they have made the right decision when they take a Light Rail journey”
- New Zealand is 26,000 square kilometres larger than the United Kingdom. One country has 5 million to fund a public transport network. The other has 66 million. So, we need to spend our resources carefully
- The Aeromovel solution could build a line for 10% of the cost of other systems being contemplated by the government in a 5th of the time OR the light rail coverage could extend all over Auckland and still be cheaper
- Wellington has committed $300 million to meet public transport growth until 2030, but the figure is now considered in need of an increase.
- A call for a business case by central Government, to support Auckland light rail decisions to date.
- The National party is soon to release a public transport discussion document.
- 100 million public transport journeys in one year, recently celebrated in Auckland, were actually achieved in the 1950’s (when private cars were less common and trams were operating.)
- Overseas expert to the question of $280 million per km to build light rail to Auckland Airport: “I would be asking some serious questions.”
- “Smart trams; dumb tracks.” The future will have all route controls in the train, none on the tracks.