Kiwi authorities are ramping up efforts to create an improved rail network in New Zealand’s largest city.
Buses replaced trains in Auckland over the Queen’s Birthday weekend as KiwiRail took advantage of the long weekend to do critical work to improve the city’s rail system.
The Queen’s Birthday is celebrated a week earlier in New Zealand than it is in most Australian states.
KiwiRail chief operating officer Todd Moyle said teams worked at sites across all four metro lines to keep momentum on a $1 billion dollar suite of projects to modernise Auckland’s rail services.
“As part of our Auckland Metro Rail Programme we are building a better network to improve services for Auckland Transport’s passengers and for our freight customers.
“With government investment we are getting stuck into a three year work program to fix the older parts of the network and to bring the metro up to the international standard that is needed to service this growing region,” Moyle said.
“It is challenging to get these transformative projects done on a live network. Trains run through Auckland 365 days of the year, meaning halting trains will inevitably cause some level of disruption to the public.
“Typically patronage is lower over public holidays and we plan these types of closures 12 months in advance because they are that critical. We appreciate the closure will impact the city’s train users and apologise for this.
“Huge planning has gone into the three days of uninterrupted track access to ensure we make the most of every hour the metro is closed to trains.”
Work on the long weekend included track work at Pukekohe Station for a new stabling yard for electric trains. Further along the Southern line enabling works were carried out as part of the extension of electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe.
KiwiRail is also building a new rail line from Middlemore to Quay Park to separate freight and passenger trains on a congested section of the network. Works are planned for the busy Westfield and Wiri junctions this weekend.
In the central city, essential track work was completed at Britomart Station.