Some time ago I wrote a blog on the future of services in greater Auckland beyond Swanson to Waitakere township. I suggested the future looked bleak. Well this is now being played out as I expected and services could be closed in favour of a regular bus connection from Waitakere to Henderson sooner rather than later. This is indicated in the draft Auckland Transport Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP). See the link here:
Although they don’t state it explicitly rather magically Waitakere has disappeared from the rail network in favour of a bus connection!
The reasons for probable closure are manifold
Auckland Transport has to be careful where it spends its money and to be frank this service would cost a lot as a diesel shuttle to operate marginally on its own two feet once separated from the ex Britomart trains.
However Auckland Transport should be more upfront and explicit about their intentions now. It is not good enough to simply imply, as they have, that rail services will be permanently replaced by buses on this stretch of line. They need to get of the proverbial pot now and come out with what they are saying privately or quietly publically. I suspect they hope it will disappear somewhere in the good news that electrification, new trains and integrated ticketing is.
It is a shame though as this little stretch of line is arguably the most scenic / pleasant section of the entire urban rail scene in Auckland – a well kept secret that is perhaps the only remaining semi-rural rail passenger service in the country outside of the Wairarapa.