More trains coming 

King Tūheitia cuts the ribbon at the launch of Te Huia in April this year.

Waikato Regional Council will roll out more Te Huia train services – and sooner – in response to public feedback on its long term plan.

It’s one of a number of decisions made during deliberations on the council’s 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, Mahere Whānui in Hamilton last week.

More than 80 per cent of all submissions were on the proposal to extend the new Waikato to Auckland passenger rail service. Of those 1240 submissions, 95 per cent were in favour of improvements to the service.

Many wanted it to happen sooner than the proposed 2023/24 timeframe.

Councillors decided an inter-peak service will be trialled for 12 months, starting in December 2021 at the earliest. That is  due to lead in times to complete the required work to implement the service, including confirmation of the operating cost, 75.5 per cent government subsidy and timetable.

Councillors also approved an extension of Saturday Te Huia services to The Strand in Auckland’s CBD for an annual cost of $10,000. A start date for the extended service is to be confirmed, pending completion of the necessary operational requirements.

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