The upgrade of a section of Auckland’s Southern Line for the City Rail Link (CRL) project has reached an important stage near Ōtāhuhu station.
KiwiRail has installed the first section of a crossover or junction to allow trains to safely switch between the existing main line and a new track being built into Ōtāhuhu station.
“There will be four crossovers in total and with more than 20 million commuter train trips on Auckland’s network each year they will help support a new era of services for people when CRL is completed in 2024,” says KiwiRail’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Todd Moyle.
KiwiRail’s construction crews began building the 1.3-kilometre-long track beside the main line in April. As well as the track and the crossovers, the new line is being electrified and communication and signal systems installed. Ōtāhuhu station is being expanded to three platforms to handle extra services when CRL is completed.
City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney says the Ōtāhuhu work demonstrates the scope of the City Rail Link project.
“There’s a lot more to a successful project than the construction of the tunnels and stations below the central city – work at Ōtāhuhu and other places across the rail network are necessary to deliver a project that will have a huge impact on the way Aucklanders travel,” says Dr Sweeney
KiwiRail and CRL Ltd have thanked rail commuters for their support. Some train services are replaced by buses while the line is being built. Construction of the new line will be finished early next year.
There will be further network upgrades to accommodate new timetables at Henderson on the Western Line and at Newmarket. A rail upgrade at the Strand in Parnell was completed earlier this year.
The City Rail Link is New Zealand’s first underground railway connecting the existing dead-end station at Britomart in lower Queen Street and the existing Mt Eden station with 3.45-kilometre-long twin tunnels.
The $4.419 billion CRL is the largest infrastructure project undertaken in New Zealand.