Extra inspections may cause Auckland passenger train delays
September 16, 2019
KiwiRail is continuing its increased inspections and maintenance caused by rail traffic growth, with a walking inspection of all 200kms of Auckland's metro network.
Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle said: "The on-foot inspection is expected to cover up to 78kms per shift. This begins this coming weekend (September 21 and 22) and will mean some delays or buses replacing trains. Work will be carried out mainly at the weekend to minimise disruption.
"We have brought in teams from around the country to ensure the work is done as quickly as possible, with up to 14 walking inspectors per shift. We expect to be finished by October 6.
"Auckland's 200km rail network is increasingly busy with 198,000 commuter services each year, and 246 freight trains per week.
"This level of traffic, and a newer rolling stock, have created accelerated wear and tear to Auckland's metro network, in the same way that tar-seal on busy roads becomes worn over time.
"Given these additional services for the city's growing population of rail commuters, KiwiRail is committed to upgrading the rail network across Auckland.
"We have already talked[i] about increased inspections starting in June that uncovered worn sections of track in different parts of the network that needed immediate replacement, creating delays for rail commuters.
"Most of this work is being conducted at night and during weekends to avoid disruptions to weekday commuters. KiwiRail teams are making enormous progress - we have brought in additional teams from around the country to ensure the work is done as quickly as possible and conducting Super Sundays - blocks of line for the whole day to enable maintenance blitzes.
"In the last three months, we have re-railed 12 kilometres of track, compared to our usual rate re-railing around 25kms per year nationally.
"KiwiRail apologises for disruptions to timetables. We work closely with Auckland Transport and Transdev to ensure a reliable and safe commuter rail service, and identify the best times to do the work that creates least overall disruption to commuters."