People heading to the Billy Joel concert on Saturday, 3 December won’t be able to use trains due to important rail improvement work that weekend being undertaken by KiwiRail and City Rail Link, but will have a range of alternative transport options.
KiwiRail, Auckland Transport and the Eden Park Trust are working to ensure that there are a range of transport options in place to help concert-goers get to the event and back.
KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer – Capital Projects David Gordon says a full Auckland-wide closure is planned for the weekend of 3 – 4 December, including City Rail Link (CRL) works around Mt Eden.
“This is time-critical work, including installing new tracks, which needs to be completed by CRL before our longer Christmas network closure begins on 26 December.
“The 3 December closure was locked in, after it had already been moved to accommodate an event earlier in November. We re-looked at it but with so many other major events going on in Auckland in the lead up to Christmas, including Christmas in the Park and the Santa Parade, it just wasn’t possible to move it again.”
“I fully appreciate the frustration Aucklanders are feeling with disruption to their train services. We’re working on major improvements to the Auckland network, to build a world class railway for the city. Once this work is done and CRL opens, it will mean more frequent, convenient and reliable commuter services for everyone.”
Auckland Transport to offer range of free ‘park and ride’ and ‘park and walk’ options
Auckland Transport Interim Chief Executive Mark Lambert says his teams have been working to ensure there are a range of alternative transport options for fans heading to the show.
“Instead of trains we’re running a series of event buses from the city centre to Eden Park, as well as express buses from the North Shore along the Northern Busway,” Mr Lambert says.
“Although we’re putting on a range of alternative transport options, we are asking concert-goers to research their options and make sure that they travel early so that they get to the show on time.
“We expect the event buses to be heavily patronised with increased wait times likely.
"For one night only we’re also setting up ‘park and rides’ in the city centre and at Alexandra Park, and a ‘park and walk’ at Westfield St Lukes to fill the gap left by us being unable to run trains to Eden Park to get people to and from the concert.
“On-street parking on roads near Eden Park is also likely to be busy, so allow extra time if you are planning to park on a nearby street and walk to the venue.”
For those wanting to travel to the concert by taxi or rideshare, Auckland Transport and Eden Park have also increased the number of rideshare pick-up and drop-off zones from one to four.
Nick Sautner, CEO of Eden Park, is reiterating the advice to everyone attending the Billy Joel concert to arrive early and plan the transport option which suits them best.
“Our priority is to provide fans of ‘The Piano Man’ an incredible experience. Billy Joel is a legendary musician and songwriter, and we want everyone to have a great night – from the moment they arrive, to after they leave the stadium.”
“This one-night only concert is a massive coup for Auckland and New Zealand. We can assure fans that every effort has been made to address the transport gap. Importantly, we’re asking people to leave plenty of time to get to the stadium and plan their journey ahead, so they can enjoy Billy Joel’s classic anthems at our iconic venue.”
About the weekend’s rail improvement works
Work by City Rail Link crews over the weekend of 3-4 December, along with the installation of power masts and cables during the Christmas rail closure and additional work next year, will allow commuter trains to use both tracks – improving journey times for commuters on the Western Line.
In addition to the CRL work on 3 – 4 December, KiwiRail will also be working on CRL-related improvements around Newmarket, and the Third Main Line and Papakura – Pukekohe electrification projects in South Auckland.
For full details about all the transport options available please visit the AT website.