Content of rail report hush-hush for now

A draft report on the possible use of commuter rail to ease congestion on the northern corridor to Christchurch has been completed but its content is being kept quiet.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) said it received the draft last week but the report would remain confidential until each council had time to review the content.

In April, ECan agreed to investigate operating trains between Waimakariri and Christchurch on the available infrastructure.

There was also an opportunity to buy old rail stock from Auckland Transport, which has upgraded to electric trains.

NZ Transport Agency regional director Jim Harland is leading a task force charged with solving the traffic congestion on State Highway 1.

The Waimakariri District Council is preparing for an unprecedented nine years' growth in three years because of the effects of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Earlier this month, Harland told The Press new data showed the highway was oversubscribed by 300 vehicles during peak hour.

The Press