Southern Line closure to allow for track repairs

16 September 2020

Trains will be replaced by buses on the Southern Line between Newmarket and Penrose for four weeks from next Monday, 21 September, so KiwiRail can continue its urgent upgrade of the Auckland metro railway network.

The move follows a four-week closure of the Eastern line between Otahuhu and Britomart, which will reopen to trains from Monday.

Testing has revealed that more than 100km of rail in the Auckland network needs repairing or replacing. For safety reasons, a speed restriction of 40km/h is in place for all trains across Auckland and a 20-minute timetable has been adopted by Auckland Transport while this complex remediation project is undertaken.

"We acknowledge this will be causing disruption to rail passengers and we are grateful for the public’s patience as we carry out the urgent work,” says KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer, Todd Moyle.

“Our focus is to get this project completed as quickly as possible to minimise overall disruption for passengers.

“Our teams have been working around the clock on the Eastern Line since mid-August and by the end of this week will have laid nearly 17km of new rail and more than 19,000 new sleepers.

“That round the clock access allows for a very productive work programme. Each four-week block of line gives us a 20 per cent increase in productive working times, compared with two separate two- week blocks, and means we can complete all necessary work in each section in the shortest possible time.  By comparison, work done piecemeal at nights or over weekends would take months to complete, prolonging overall disruption to commuters.

“Based on that, we have agreed with Auckland Transport that a programme of rolling four-week line closures across the network will be the best and most efficient way to progress this work over the coming months. 

“We are currently developing a programme that will primarily focus on working progressively along the Southern Line over the next three months, before moving to the Western line.

“We know that when working around the clock KiwiRail creates disruption and inconvenience for people who live near the work activity. We do our best to minimise disturbance and, once again, are grateful for the public’s forbearance.”

Further information on replacement bus services is available on AT’s website and the AT Mobile app.