New Zealand’s KiwiRail has decided to temporarily close a section of Eastern Line for two weeks to carry out urgent repair works.
The rail section between Quay Park (Parnell) and Westfield from next week to perform track repair and replacement works.
The move comes after train speeds across the Auckland metro network were reduced to 40km/h after track testing revealed that damage is more widespread than previously estimated.
KiwiRail Group chief executive Greg Miller said: “We are accelerating our work programme to repair and replace the 100km of rail across the wider network.
“Closing the track for an extended period like this minimises overall disruption to commuters and corridor neighbours, as it allows for greater productivity for our teams.
“Work done across a 14-day closure would take more than 100 days if done only piecemeal at night and over weekends, as we are doing currently. While this stoppage will enable us to make significant progress, there will be further work required before we can return this section to full line speed.”
KiwiRail is currently working with Auckland Transport to devise the work programme.
The repair works will be funded through the NZD1bn ($650m) programme that seeks to modernise the Auckland metro network.
KiwiRail will also concurrently investigate the causes of the rapid rail deterioration in Auckland.
Last month, KiwiRail secured $26m from the New Zealand Government for the construction of a new rail maintenance facility in Christchurch.