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IA Funding Takes The Heat Off The Tracks

IA Funding For Rail De-Stressing Takes The Heat Off The Tracks

Statement made by John Robertson, Chairman, Infrastructure Auckland

Infrastructure Auckland today announced it is offering a grant of $2 million to Auckland Regional Transport Network Limited (ARTNL), for de-stressing of rail tracks within the Auckland region.

This work is required on Auckland’s rail tracks to ensure that heat does not cause timetable delays in the future. Currently some 101 kilometres of rail are welded together in a process known as Continuously Welded Rail (CWR). When the temperature of the tracks reaches 40°, the tracks can buckle so speed restrictions of 40km/h are imposed on trains by the Land Transport Safety Authority.

To ensure passengers are not delayed the tracks can be de-stressed. This involves the track being cut to remove a specific length of rail, and then stretched and re-welded. The process means there is less rail track than there was previously, ensuring that when the temperature rises, and the track expands, no buckling occurs. A condition of the grant is that de-stressing is completed to LTSA standards.

IA is pleased to be able to offer funding to a project that delivers important social, environmental and economic benefits through alleviation of traffic congestion.

ARTNL will manage the de-stressing project on behalf of the region (stretching from Pukekohe to Waitakere) to protect against train delays next summer.

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