Date: 22 November 2022
Auckland Transport has released detailed information today about how Auckland rail passengers will be able to continue to travel during stage one of KiwiRail’s rail closures for the Rail Network Rebuild project.
The Rail Network Rebuild is an upgrade of the entire Auckland rail network, one section at a time, so we can provide faster journey times and more frequent, reliable trains when the City Rail Link (CRL) opens.
KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer David Gordon says: “Stage one of the rebuild will run for two months, between 16 January and 19 March, with trains unable to operate on the Onehunga Line and the Southern Line between Ōtāhuhu and Newmarket, effectively closing six stations – Remuera, Greenlane, Ellerslie, Penrose, Te Papapa and Onehunga.
“During this time we will be digging up and replacing the rock foundations under the tracks and improving drainage in the rail corridor, which is a crucial part of preparing the network for the more frequent trains to come with CRL.”
Auckland Transport Interim Chief Executive Mark Lambert says AT has been working closely with KiwiRail to ensure there is the least possible disruption for Auckland’s rail customers while this work is underway.
“For those customers unable to travel to and from the six stations where trains will not be running we have released details of a range of alternative bus services, including two express services,” Mr Lambert says.
To ensure those replacement bus services will be able to give customers faster and more reliable alternative bus journeys, AT is also working to ensure our traffic lights are optimised for buses travelling on those routes.
“Because the Rail Network Rebuild is being completed by KiwiRail in stages we are able to reduce the number of passengers affected by disruption from this project at any one time,” Mr Lambert says.
“For this stage one of the project about 85% of our rail passengers will be able to continue catching the train. All Southern Line passengers travelling between Britomart and stations south of Ōtāhuhu can still use trains as Southern Line train services will be rerouted through the Eastern Line, meaning trains will continue to run between Britomart and most Southern Line stops.
“It’s hugely important that we are able to keep running rail services for as many of our customers as possible during this project.”
AT has also launched a customer communications campaign today which will provide affected passengers with information they need to plan their journeys with confidence when stage one of the Rail Network Rebuild begins in January.
KiwiRail will also be communicating with rail corridor neighbours about the work in stage one.
Dates announced for KiwiRail’s annual Christmas holiday network closure
Dates have also been announced today for KiwiRail’s annual network-wide holiday shutdown, which will take place this year from 26 December until 15 January. This closure enables KiwiRail and City Rail Link (CRL) teams to undertake project work and for KiwiRail to maintain the network.
All of AT’s train services will be replaced by buses during the holiday period, as has been the case in previous years. We are working closely with our rail operator Auckland One Rail to ensure there is appropriate capacity on rail replacement buses.
KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer David Gordon says it gives KiwiRail a dedicated period of time to progress major rail improvement projects and undertake the routine maintenance that is needed to keep trains running.
”More than $1.5 billion is being invested to improve the Auckland rail network, and like the Rail Network Rebuild, we want to complete as much work as possible before CRL opens – so that commuters can experience the benefits from Day-1.
“Over the Christmas and New Year break we will continue building the new Third Main Line between Puhinui and Middlemore and carry out earth and track works between Papakura and Pukekohe, as part of the project to extend electrification.
“We will also carry out essential maintenance across the network and make a start on Stage 1 of the Rail Network Rebuild.
“The extended access, without commuter trains running, allows us to get a huge amount of work done over a short period of time. It is a much more productive and efficient way of working, allowing us to progress projects more quickly and cost effectively than if we only worked during intermittent shutdowns over weekends. It also gives us a solid block of time to get more maintenance done, compared to working at nights or on weekends.”