World Cup commuter train success highlights benefits of rail

Transport

Commuter trains moved more than 173,000 people to and from FIFA Women’s World Cup matches in Auckland and Wellington, showing what an efficient rail operation can achieve, Transport Minister David Parker said.

“Auckland and Wellington rail networks stepped up to deliver a great service for fans, carrying more than 173,000 people to and from the 18 New Zealand matches. Close to half of the 41,000 fans for the USA vs Vietnam game in Auckland headed to the match by train,” he said.

“Some of the nine matches played in Auckland set new records for attendance at a football game in New Zealand, with Eden Park hosting around 350,000 fans over the course of the tournament.

“More than 120,000 people, or 37 per cent travelled on metro trains. KiwiRail also reinstated a single track on the Eastern Line, which was closed for improvement work, so that special event trains could run on match days.

“In the Capital, Sky Stadium hosted 231,000 fans over its nine matches, with more than 53,000 people from across the wider Wellington area (23 per cent) taking metro trains.

“I understand that FIFA had some initial concerns about the ability of our commuter rail services to effectively move large numbers of fans to and from the venues. In the end, they performed extremely well, transporting many thousands of people within an hour of the game finishing.

“Not only did reliable commuter rail services allow people to get to the game conveniently, they reduced transport emissions and avoided greater road congestion. This shows how important commuter rail is for mass transit in two large cities,” David Parker said.