June 03, 2010

The trams are coming back

Almost 60 years after ripping up the tram lines in Auckland, the Regional Council has voted to bring them back. Of a sort, of course, not the whole efficient, environmentally friendly system that ran in the first half of the previous century before addiction to petrol fumes caused under-investment, neglect, buses, cars and motorways to take over.
A new system will get its kick off with a heritage line connecting Britomart and the Wynyard Quarter, which won't be more than a tourist line. Even vintage tram cars will be used, like they do in Christchurch.
From the press release:
The project’s first phase will see heritage trams circuiting the 30 hectare redeveloped Wynyard Quarter linking it with the Britomart Transport Centre.
The proposal was first brought to the ARC’s Transport and Urban Development Committee last year by the Campaign for Better Transport and Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). Feasibility studies have been carried out by the ARC and Sea+City who developed a two phased proposal for the tramway.
Phase one will focus on Wynyard Quarter with a single track loop circuiting Gateway Plaza, Jellicoe Street, Halsey Street, Gaunt Street and Beaumont Street. This is planned to be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup.
Sidings at the western end of Jellicoe Street would house the trams in buildings beside the proposed Silo Park which is being designed to attract people to the western end of Jellicoe Street.
“The return of trams to Auckland’s streets will make a real point of difference for the Wynyard Quarter,” says ARC Chairman, Michael Lee.
“This is a modest beginning, but the longest journey starts with one small step.”
Phase two will see the trams linking to the CBD and connecting with existing public transport at Britomart and on Queen Street.
It will be still a long way from a modern, fast and efficient system that can give private transport a run for their money, so to speak. Like this one:

1 comment:

baresytapas said...

I entered this site by chance, but I found very interesting. A greeting to all the people who visit this page.