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Calls for public to be safe near tracks

8 February 2005

Calls for public to be safe near tracks as train services increase

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) is requesting the public be vigilant around level crossings and at stations following the introduction of a new passenger rail timetable.

Passengers will enjoy more frequent services during peak times following the introduction of the new timetable, however more trains, including a number of new limited-stop express services, will be running at different times and the public will need to continue to behave safely near train tracks.

The new train schedule comes into operation on 14 February, following the completion of the construction project to double-track part of the western rail line. The last sections of new track were joined together and tested over several days, and trains began running on the tracks last week.

The ARTA Service Delivery Manager for rail, Jeremy Sutton, says the double-tracking provides an opportunity to introduce new morning and evening peak services along the western line with the addition of several “short-running” trains between New Lynn and Britomart.”

The timetable across the rest of the network has also been refined. On the southern and eastern lines, most services have been retimed slightly to streamline the timetable and to accommodate new services between Otahuhu and Britomart via the eastern line. Some current eastern line services are now also limited-stop express trains.

“The extra services will cater for the huge increase in demand we’ve been experiencing over the past 12 months. ARTA, in partnership with the rail passenger operator Connex Auckland, has tailored the timetable to best meet this growing patronage, and allow the growth to continue. “However, the timetable changes mean people must be extra careful near train tracks, especially at level crossings where there are two sets of tracks to cross and more trains to watch for. We would also like to remind the public that it is illegal to be on or near the train tracks at any time, except at a level crossing,” he says.

Mr Sutton says passengers should check their new timetables carefully because the time of their regular services may have changed.

“Passengers also need to be aware that while the main construction stage on the western line is complete, some minor work will continue for several weeks. Every effort is being made to ensure this leads to minimal disruptions”.

Meanwhile contractors will continue to work on a $4 million upgrade of Kingsland Station over the next few weeks. The station is being improved as part of the wider western line construction project.

MORE The double-tracking project was planned and managed by the Auckland Regional Council on behalf of the Crown, and then passed to its subsidiary organisation ARTA on 1 December 2004.

For more information about the new services call 09 366 6400 or visit www.maxx.co.nz

ENDS

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