A high speed rail service between Hamilton and Auckland is expected to slash travel times but could cost up to $14.425 billion to launch.
The tentative figures are contained in an initial rapid rail business case released by Transport Minister Phil Twyford on Tuesday.
No doubt Labour will announce this as policy in a few weeks, promising it by 2024, yet not actually delivering anything until 2124.
Let’s look at what numbers you would need using this service to keep the subsidy to say under $100 a person.
6% cost of capital on $14.425 billion is $865 million a year. So each day it costs $2.37 million. So if you could get 24,000 people a day using it, the subsidy would be *only* $100 per passenger per day.
Of course 24,000 would be around 1.4 of Hamilton’s working population. And to transport 24,000 people a day you’d need 310 carriages! That is equal to 7.5 kms of carriages. Of course you’d have more than one train a a day but say you have 10 – still need each stop to be 750 metres long!