14 January 2015

Wellington tramlink

A while back I posted rough outlines of what an Auckland waterfront and Avondale to Onehunga tram line might look like on the ground, irrespective of the chances of these ever actually happening. As a natural next step, while the prospect of a proper light rail or tram network for public-transport-friendly Wellington seems unlikely at the moment thanks to the skimping of the city's transport review, I thought I'd have a go at mapping out where the stops might be.

The first point to note is that rather than the usual idea of a Wellington Station to Airport route, I believe there are considerable advantages in extending the route north of the station into the light industrial area along Old Hutt Rd. This would permit less expensive land to be freed up for affordable park and ride facilities for drivers from Highway 1 and 2, allowing those commuters to leave their cars and ride into town on a speedy and reliable service without clogging the central city with traffic. Rail commuters on the existing lines could pick up the tram service in front of the station, and those in southern suburbs would also be able to make the journey to town or to the hospital in speed and comfort. Of course, this all presumes that money is no object, which it isn't! But it's nice to dream what we could achieve, isn't it?

Possible Wellington light rail route 
(The Google Maps link for the above map if you want more detail is here). The line details below denote park and ride facilities at the three northern stops of Ngauranga, Onslow Rd and Kaiwharawhara. Due to the one-way street network, only the airport-bound tram service would stop outside Te Papa; the return service would stop on Wakefield St. As for the Basin Reserve, as money is no object, let's have a tunnel underneath!

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