Auckland’s rail network will be all-electric from next Monday 20 July. New trains will be operating all services on the electrified network from Papakura in the south to Swanson in the west.
Auckland Transport’s Rail Services Manager, Craig Inger, says the roll-out has been completed a few weeks ahead of schedule.
"We started running the first electric trains in April last year and here we are 15 months later going all electric; that’s great.”
Mr Inger says it has been a tough few months with on-going issues caused by the ageing diesel fleet.
“Running both electric and diesel trains has caused a few problems. We are working hard with KiwiRail, CAF and Transdev to improve performance and reliability, we will continue to make improvements when the all-electric fleet is operational.”
He says that with the increased number of services now operating on the network, schedules are very tight and work is continuing to make sure trains meet their spot into the busy Newmarket and Britomart stations. He says customers will see an improvement in punctuality as drivers become more familiar with the new trains.
Mr Inger says there will be a bedding-in period and it is inevitable that there will be issues: “We hope we can keep any disruption to a minimum but overseas experience shows that we have to be prepared for the possibility.”
From 20 July, buses will shuttle passengers between Swanson and the former Waitakere station.
On the Southern Line, the electric trains end at Papakura and there will be a shuttle service using diesel trains to and from Pukekohe.
The last of Auckland’s 57 electric trains are currently being shipped from Spain and the full fleet will be in service by the end of the year.
Mr Inger says the new trains have been very popular. By the time the new timetable comes into effect, Aucklanders will have taken more than 14 million trips across the Auckland rail network in the past year, a 21% increase.
The modern new trains mean extra capacity as well as improved comfort. At peak times, 6-car trains provide even more room.
Auckland’s new electric trains have wider doors making it easier for passengers. The trains are much quieter than the old diesel trains and they accelerate faster, so please be extra cautious when using railway crossings.