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Major increase in Auckland passenger rail services

Major increase in Auckland’s passenger rail services

A new rail timetable with a 25 per cent overall increase in train services, extended late nights on Friday and Saturday and, for the first time in at least 40 years, regular Sunday services, will be implemented on Tuesday 25 October by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) with their operating partner Connex Auckland.

Chief Executive, (ARTA) Alan Thompson says, “Introducing more train services, especially on Sundays, represents a major step towards bringing Auckland’s public transport services in line with comparable international cities. Just like people in other countries, Aucklanders can start to really enjoy the benefits of travelling by train - whether they are commuting to work, going shopping, watching rugby or a family outing there will be more rail service to suit their needs.”

“ARTA is focussed on increasing the frequency, reliability, quality and use of public transport in Auckland. We are continuing to see strong growth in rail use, with patronage hitting a record high in August. This increase reflects improvements implemented to date. However there is still more work to be done and we continue to work with key rail stakeholders and funders to further improve the rail network and progress ARTA’s vision for its electrification and expansion.

“This increase in services has been made possible through the continued investment in developing Auckland’s rail infrastructure. ARTA has increased carrying capacity by introducing more refurbished and remanufactured trains to the network and is working with ONTRACK to complete the second Stage of the Western Line double tracking project.

“In developing Auckland’s rail network, ARTA is also committed to upgrading the railway stations. We are working in partnership with Auckland Regional Transport Network Ltd (ARTNL) on implementing a major upgrade of our stations,” Mr Thompson said.

General Manager, Connex Auckland Chris White says, “The new timetable represents a significant step forward for the passenger rail experience in Auckland. We hope that passengers will take advantage of new services on the network which offer extended hours and more choice. The new timetable has been developed in partnership with ARTA to reflect the current operating conditions on the network and will maximise the use of additional trains and drivers. We look forward to the continuation of system enhancements and additional trains which will allow us to further develop service offerings in the coming years.”

As more trains will be running at different times, and as new Sunday trains are introduced, Mr White also cautioned the public to take extra care at stations, level crossings, pedestrian crossings and near the rail corridor, especially with children, during the transition period.

In conjunction with the new timetable being introduced services will be withdrawn from Mangere station. This is due to consistently low patronage and the proximity of two alternative stations (Middlemore and Otahuhu stations which are within 1km of Mangere station). This will help to increase the efficiency of the network. Four southbound services will continue to stop at the station in term time only to accommodate the large numbers of school pupils using the morning service.

Timetables are available to download from www.maxx.co.nz. From 14 October 2005 copies will be available at Britomart Transport Centre, Papakura station or local ticket agencies. To find out about the new services or to order a hard copy of the new timetables customers should call MAXX on 366 6400. The Connex Auckland ticket office at Britomart will open on Sundays from October 30 2005.

Ends

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