After many long years, LGWM have finally offered us 4 shiny new options for us Wellingtonians to savour and think about, bedecked in shiny new colours to match the LGWM logo. Its almost like they have been planning this event for years…

So…. What this means is….

Option 1 – below – This version has a couple of key features – a big new diagonal Bus transport tunnel going from the Basin under Mt Victoria and over to Wellington Road in Kilbirnie is one (the blue lines). Unfortunately it shares the tunnel with general traffic, while the existing Mt Vic tunnel is now repurposed for walking, scooters and cycling. But the existing thing is the proposal for a Light Rail route – dedicated Light Rail ! – from the Railways station down along the Quays, down along Cambridge/Kent The, and then somehow sneaking up behind the car yards to meet up with Sussex St and then to the Hospital. Once in Newtown it will somehow share the road and continue on down to Island Bay, making room for a huge boom in additional housing along the route. Berhampore: your time for quiet suburbia is over – its growth time baby !

Option 1 – South Coast Rail

Option 2 – below – this the Option for those who really like Buses – basically exactly the same two routes as before, but both of them to be Bus routes. If you like buses, then vote for this one – if you don’t want buses, then avoid like the plague!

Option 2

Option 3 – below – is presumably a much cheaper option – Buses will stay using the existing Hataitai bus tunnel and somehow the existing Mt Vic Tunnel will stay used for cars, cycles, pedestrians, and is somehow better than it was before. Otherwise, the Light Rail route to the Island Bay is unchanged.

Option 3

Option 4 – below – much the same as option 3, but routing the Light Rail up Taranaki St and then it appears to snake down Frederick St or Haining Street across to Tory St and then the rest is all pretty much the same as before. I’ve written about Haining St before and I know it well – similarly with Frederick – and its not really wide enough to run a single car down, let alone a 2 way iron railroad. For practicality reasons alone therefore, that’s a No from me.

Option 4

The official on-line launch was a bit of a disaster if you ask me – the live feed kept crapping out and then failed completely for about 15 minutes, so I’m completely unsure what Michael Woods or David Dunlop had to say. But I did find this lovely picture online, of what the Quays route might look like:

Bus Rapid Transit, or Light Rail – in both versions the PT will go down the centre of the wide road

That’s quite a posh bit of rendering there, so it gives us a good idea of what it could possibly look like. I’d catch that ! And here is another gussied up aerial shot, with a view from a little higher up, looking south…

Follow that purple / blue line south – that’s your new Light Rail route south!

I was wondering where the route could go up behind the car yards as shown in most of these options – so I made a quick sketch of how it might work. There would be some very tight radius for turning into, and no doubt may be tweaked or changed quite a bit between now and then – sneaking up Fifeshire Ave ( a grand name for a very ungrand small street) and then through some old sheds and possibly Council properties, to line up with the stub of Sussex St and continue to travel south. Good work guys – you had me fooled! Well done David Dunlop ! Have a look at this:

Possible purple route ?

then, finally, I’ll leave you with this picture of where the growth areas might be…

Sorry, couldn’t resist an old music reference in here…

Over to you lot for commentary ! Which one do you like best?

Post-script: The wonderful Joel MacManus of the Dominion Post has got some interesting new pics, in this new post:

A possible new Post Office Square with a new Pacific pattern
I’ve always wondered how they proposed to get the Light Rail down the Quays. Here’s how…
And for the first time in history, a Basin Reserve with no over bridge