KiwiRail Making Big Push on Auckland Rail Replacement

A passenger train prepares to enter Auckland’s Britomart Station in November 2019. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Trains will not run on the Eastern line between Britomart and Ōtāhuhu for two weeks as KiwiRail finishes work to replace worn rail on the passenger and freight line.

Last year, the line was temporarily closed for four weeks while the track was fixed between Ōrākei and Ōtāhuhu. This time, workers will focus on replacing rail and sleepers along the Hobson Bay causeway, KiwiRail’s Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle said.

“We appreciate it’s frustrating for train users who are returning to work and still facing travel disruptions,” Moyle said in a news release. “We’ve been working hard this summer and have made good progress with the required work and are nearing the end of major disruptions.

“Closing the network over the Christmas holidays meant we were able to bring in a boosted workforce to fix rail through the critical inner parts of the network, as well as the Western and Southern lines,” Moyle added. “Our teams are working 24/7 and are currently on track to finish rerailing work on the Western line by then end of this month, so that trains can return to the line in time for the start of the school year.”

Workers have replaced more than 100 kilometers of damaged rail, about 76 percent of the required rerailing work overall, officials said. Simultaneously, workers gave replaced about 16,000 sleepers and destressed 80km of rail track.

KiwiRail teams are also continuing to work around the clock to replace rail on the Western line.

The Eastern line will be closed to trains from Jan. 25 until Feb. 8, with Auckland Transport running bus replacements. During this period, freight trains will be rerouted through Newmarket.

The Western line will reopen to AT Metro services starting Feb. 2.

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