Auckland metro closes for long weekend works

Kiwi authorities are ramping up efforts to create an improved rail network in New Zealand’s largest city.

Buses are to replace trains in Auckland over the Queen’s Birthday weekend as KiwiRail takes advantage of the long weekend to do critical work to improve the city’s rail system.

KiwiRail chief operating officer Todd Moyle said teams would be working 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 planned for the long weekend includes track work at Pukekohe Station for a new stabling yard for electric trains. Further along the Southern line enabling works will be carried out as part of the extension of electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe. In Takanini, Manuroa Road and Walters Road will be closed to through traffic at the level crossings while essential track maintenance is carried out. Traffic management will be in place.

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 will be completed at Britomart Station, and the Kingdon Street pedestrian crossing in Newmarket will be closed while teams carry out maintenance on the crossing.

“We’d also wish to remind the public that Normanby Road level crossing in Mount Eden is now permanently closed to vehicle traffic, as part of changes coming with the City Rail Link,” Moyle said.

“The crossing will eventually be replaced with a road overbridge. Please be mindful of the traffic changes in this area and plan your trip accordingly.”

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