KiwiRail boosts back-up systems in Auckland

KiwiRail has reconfigured and boosted its back-up power supply for Auckland’s metro train signalling system following Wednesday’s train delays.

Following peak hour last night, KiwiRail tested and recommissioned the signalling system, incorporating extra fail-safe elements.

 Preliminary internal investigations show Wednesday’s signalling outage was caused by a contractor working on a property unrelated to KiwiRail nearby.

 “He thought he was cutting power to his building site, and came onto KiwiRail property, removing fuses and cutting the cable supplying power to the signal control system,” says Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle.

 “The system was still being repaired after last week’s failure caused by a technical fault, which meant the usual back-up systems were not operating normally.

 “We have written to Auckland Mayor Phil Goff to apologise.

 “We take our role as manager of the network very seriously and we understand how important reliability is for commuters.

 “KiwiRail has immediately reconfigured and boosted back-up power supply systems with batteries and more generators to reduce the risk of future outages. In addition, we are initiating two reviews. An internal review has already begun, and an independent external review will be commissioned as soon as possible, covering all high risk failure points and, more importantly, what we need to do to prevent them happening in the future.

 “We will discuss the outcome of those reviews with Mr Goff once they are complete.”

 Longer term, work is already underway to create a new control centre for Auckland in the next 18 months and moving systems controls to a secure data centre. This will increase the resilience of the system.