Auckland trains to resume as network shutdown comes to an end

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Most commuter trains will resume in Auckland from Monday as KiwiRail finishes unprecedented work on the city’s rail network.

At Pukekohe Station (with the Stadium Dr Bridge in the background), training work is preparing for the laying of a new railway line.
Photo: Supplied / KiwiRail

In a statement, KiwiRail said 11 of the 13 projects across the city are expected to be completed by Sunday, with the rail network set to partially open to passengers on Monday, January 17.

KiwiRail acting chief executive David Gordon said staff went to great lengths to complete projects during the shutdown.

“This is the most ambitious Christmas temporary shutdown we have ever undertaken in the Auckland metro area, with over 155,000 working hours so far.

“This is the largest mobilization of resources for a temporary shutdown with 1,100 people working day and night on the network to make it more resilient and reliable, and to advance some large infrastructure projects that are continuing through government investment through the New Zealand Upgrade Program. . “

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Although the projects are not yet fully completed, Gordon has been impressed with the scale of what they have achieved so far.

“We have not yet finished but so far, we have laid 17,000 m3 of ballast (the small stones that form the bed of the track), nearly 4 km of new formation (the base on which the track rests). ), more than 5 km of new rail track and the installation of 16 complex track structures including switches, crossings and scissors (these allow trains to switch from one track to another).

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Throughout the shutdown, KiwiRail completed work at 31 different sites in Auckland, with a few milestones including reconnecting Northland freight trains to the Western Line and putting in a new track from Kingsland to Grafton Station.

Gordon said progress has been made in extending electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe, building the third main line through the busiest part of the network as well as other needed track repairs in the area. metropolitan.

KiwiRail staff work at Britomart station during rail closure

At the entrance to Britomart station (view towards the station), a new track has been laid and preparations are underway to pour the concrete slab.
Photo: Supplied / KiwiRail

Meanwhile, at Britomart station, a 75-meter-long concrete slab was poured and rail tracks were replaced at the entrance to the station.

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Gordon thanked the staff who sacrificed their time during the summer vacation period to get the job done.

“Our thanks also extend to the people of Auckland – the commuters and neighbors of the rail corridor – for their patience as we do this necessary work,” he said.

The last two KiwiRail projects yet to be completed are the City Rail Link at Britomart and Mount Eden – both projects are slated for completion on January 23.

With a temporary closure of the rail network nearing completion, KiwiRail is already gearing up for the next one during Auckland’s Anniversary Weekend January 29-31. Work during this shutdown will focus on projects at Westfield, Pukekohe and general upgrades on the north line.

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