Another Rail Debacle in Auckland

Published on 4/10/2022 at 4:36 pm.

Press Release -  Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) say the announcement by KiwiRail that large amount of long term rail closures over the next three years, at least, to supposedly get the system “ready for the opening of the Cemtral Rail Link (CRL).

The Auckland travelling public are once again asked to put up with massive commuter disruption, which follows hot on the heels of the two year closure of the Papakura to Pukekohe section, the recent truncation of the Onehunga service to Newmarket and the relatively recent six month long situation where trains were restricted to 40kph, because the track was in such poor order that it was unsafe to travel any faster.

Niall Robertson, chair of the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA), says, “This is not good enough. This doesn’t happen elsewhere in the world, and nor does it even happen in Wellington. Shut downs are relatively rare and usually occur at times of low use like at night or during the weekend”.

PTUA National Coordinator Jon Reeves says, “This sort of incompetence needs to stop. We need better explanations from AT and KiwiRail about how this came about, rather than being fed a lot obfuscation about, ‘getting the line ready for the CRL”.

The PTUA believe that Auckland commuters deserve better, and Robertson says that there are better ways of dealing with, at least, rush hour commuting. Robertson says, “One way on the corridor should be kept open so that diesel railcars and SA carriage sets, currently in storage could be brought back into service to run trains through the closed areas to get people to and from their work places, schools and universities during the rush hour”.

Robertson says, “Busses won’t cope as AT are short of 1500 bus drivers, but intend to have 200 train drivers sit around doing very little while the trains are cancelled. Use the capacity of both equipment and staff and get these trains going again to meet the need of Auckland commuters to that extent at least and give them a break from these ongoing failures of the system.

Press release dated 4 Oct 22. Authorized by Niall Robertson Chair, Public Transport Users Association (PTUA)

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