Auckland Transport (AT) is introducing a new timetable from next Monday 19 October, following track work on the Eastern and Southern lines, carried out by KiwiRail.
At the same time, the Southern Line will be closed between Homai and Pukekohe for four weeks so KiwiRail teams can continue urgent work replacing worn tracks.
Earlier this year, testing revealed that about 150km of rail in the Auckland network needed repairing or replacing. In August, a general speed restriction of 40km/h was put in place, forcing the frequency of train services to be reduced by half at peak travel times.
Since then, sections of network have been closed in four-week blocks so KiwiRail can replace the track quicker than if done overnight or at weekends.
The speed restrictions can now be lifted on some sections of track that have been repaired.
Eastern Line customers will see a 10-minute frequency, with journey time improvements between Panmure and Britomart during peak travel.
Southern Line services will remain at a 20-minute frequency, however there are journey time improvements between Otahuhu and Newmarket. Onehunga Line services will stop at all stations, meaning more trains will be available for customers who board at stations served by both lines.
Auckland Transport Executive General Manager of Integrated Networks Mark Lambert says that the work completed so far, is a good first step in the right direction.
“We continue to work closely with KiwiRail, to ensure there is a suitable balance of causing the least disruption possible, while also completing this urgent work.
“We thank customers for their continued understanding and support while this important work is carried out”.
KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle says track teams are into their fourth week of working around the clock to replace worn rail on the Southern Line between Westfield and Newmarket and are on target to complete necessary repairs so the speed restriction can be lifted on that section.
“During the first closure on the Eastern Line the teams met their target of replacing 20 km of rail and more than 3500 sleepers on the 10km between Panmure and the city centre.
“We are continuing to work with Auckland Transport to review our progress and plan the way ahead. We have agreed a programme of rolling line closures across the network is the best and most efficient way to progress this work over the coming months. For the next month our focus will remain on the Southern Line.
“There will be a larger, network wide closure during the Christmas period when fewer Aucklanders are in the city, and patronage is lower. At this time, we expect a boosted workforce will be working across the network.
“We know that when working around the clock KiwiRail creates disruption and inconvenience for people who live near the work activity. We do our best to minimise disturbance and, once again, are grateful for the public’s forbearance.”
When KiwiRail moves on to the next section of track work, buses will replace trains between Manukau and Pukekohe. Southern Line services will terminate at Manukau station.
This closure will be in effect from Monday 19 October to Sunday 15 November.
During the week some lines will close in the early evening and there will be additional closures over weekends to assist in speeding up the maintenance programme.