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Helensville rail service scheduled for July start

Media release

17 April 2008

Helensville rail service scheduled for July start


The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) announced today that the first rail service to Helensville since 1980 will start on Monday 14 July 2008, in line with the introduction of an updated network-wide timetable. The network-wide timetable, which begins on Sunday 13 July, will reflect the completion by the New Zealand rail agency, ONTRACK, of the double tracking work from Henderson to Swanson, enabling four trains an hour to run during morning and evening peak on weekdays on the Western Line.

The Helensville service will run on a one-year trial basis, making stops at Waimauku and Huapai before travelling along the Western Line and into Britomart. The trial service was funded by the Auckland Regional Council and includes three temporary stations. Construction of the stations will begin this month.

ARTA’s Chief Executive Fergus Gammie says, “As ARTA redevelops Auckland’s rail network with ONTRACK, we are able to offer commuters many more services, which means greater transport choices other than the car. The aim is to get people off congested roads by providing them with a frequent and reliable public transport service.”

Mr Gammie says the Helensville service will depart on weekdays just before 6.30am, arrive at Britomart at around 8am, returning to Helensville from Britomart at approximately 5.30pm.

“The final timetable details will be completed shortly and will be publicised as soon as they are available.”

Scott Osmond, Chairperson of the Norwest Rail Action Group, which is championing the trial service from Helensville on behalf of the community, says, “Representatives from the Norwest Rail Group conducted a survey of potential departure and return times given to us by ARTA and its operator, Veolia Transport Auckland. In one week, we received ninety responses from the community, with the majority in favour of the times chosen from a number of options given to us by ARTA and Veolia.”

The Helensville service and improvements to the Helensville rail station to make it fit for commuter services, as well as new station developments at Waimauku and Huapai for the service and future Western Line rail services, are included in the ARC Draft Annual Plan which is open for public submission until 2 May 2008.  Summary copies are available at www.arc.govt.nz, 366 2000 or 0800 806040.

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