Over 80 hours of work this Queen’s Birthday weekend sees critical step forward to Mt Eden CRL construction

2 June 2020

KiwiRail’s successful installation of a new scissor crossing over Queen’s Birthday weekend marks an important step forward in enabling the Mt Eden end of City Rail Link’s (CRL) works. 

Working around the clock, KiwiRail and its contractors connected one of the largest crossings on the metro network which will enable trains to keep running while major construction for the CRL continues next to the tracks says KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle.

“The new track layout is an essential change which will ultimately allow CRL workers the space needed to do their job safely while commuter and freight trains continue to travel along the Western Line.

“It is part of preparing Auckland’s network for the City Rail Link opening in 2024. By removing a pinch point and creating more flexible track use, the scissor crossover will allow trains to switch tracks when travelling in either direction and is critical to improving reliability as train frequency increases.

“Upgrading the network while meeting commuter needs and being mindful of our neighbours is challenging. We work with Auckland Transport to plan when we can do our work to reduce overall disruption as much as possible.

“To complete this job we needed over 80 hours of train-free track access to install the new track system.

“Our team also built the unique crossing off site to enable it to be installed as quickly as possible. It took seven days to build and had to be craned into position. Sitting on 6m long concrete sleepers that span two tracks the new track was installed in 11 different sections - the heaviest being over 25 tonnes or the equivalent of two single decker buses.

KiwiRail’s staff and contractors had been working in the area since June last year and have now returned to the site following the COVID-19 lockdown.

“We’ve introduced appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols, and we’ll be working hard over the coming months to catch up on the delays caused by the lockdown.

“Most of our work can only be done when the line is closed to trains, and we’re doing everything we can to get the job done with the least disruption.  We thank commuters and neighbours for their understanding as we work hard to complete these essential works that will in time enable more services in the region.”

Link Alliance, which is building the City Rail Link (CRL) tunnels and stations for City Rail Link Ltd, says KiwiRail’s work is a critical part of the project.

“The work completed is crucial to the Link Alliance’s construction in Mt Eden. It means that a single line can run through Mt Eden while we undertake construction in the rail corridor for the new rail trenches and redeveloped station. We’ll be able to complete our construction safely while train users continue their journeys past Mt Eden,” says Dale Burtenshaw, Deputy Project Director for Link Alliance.

The City Rail Link (CRL) is New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project and will provide a better connection between the west and central city. KiwiRail is working closely with CRL and Auckland Transport to ensure the project’s success.