Major milestone for Auckland’s City Rail Link

Critical steps towards finishing City Rail Link (CRL) and extending electric trains to Pukekohe were successfully completed during Matariki weekend. 

The City Rail Link signalling systems, the traffic lights that control how and where trains operate safely, were successfully integrated with the wider rail network.

The signalling integration is another step closer towards the first trains running through the tunnels under Auckland city centre later this year for testing and training.

The new overhead electric lines between Papakura to Pukekohe were also powered up for the first time during the full network closure for Matariki weekend.

The signalling work was carried out by KiwiRail and Link Alliance on behalf of City Rail Link Limited. It included implementing signalling updates at Morningside (including Maungawhau), Newmarket, Quay Park and Waitematā (Britomart) and Penrose.

KiwiRail also carried out the Papakura to Pukekohe energisation, Rail Network Rebuild work between Papakura and Pukekohe, Middlemore station upgrades and work on the new western power feed to improve resilience of the rail network.

KiwiRail Chief Infrastructure Officer Andre Lovatt says the teams involved worked hard to design and model the systems to allow seamless integration, without disruption to commuters, so it is pleasing to see there were no issues.

“We still have a huge scope of work to get done to be ready for City Rail Link, both to integrate new systems and deliver complex upgrade projects across the network.

“We know it is frustrating, but as we continue with further integration work there will be a risk of some disruption. All of the work we are doing now takes us closer to rail being easier, better connected and more reliable for Aucklanders,” Mr Lovatt says.

City Rail Link Chief Executive Sean Sweeney says the successful weekend is the result of some great team work and the hard work of all involved.

CRL also wants to thank the public for their patience and support – this weekend was a critical step towards completion of the project. It has helped bring the finish line and all the benefits a completed CRL will give Aucklanders that much closer.”

Auckland Transport Director Public Transport and Active Modes Stacey van der Putten says the rail closure over the weekend has meant a lot of good work has been done work towards building a better, more resilient rail network.

“We appreciate the continued patience of Aucklanders as we get closer to opening the City Rail Link.”

The NZD 5.493 billion (USD 3.4 billion) project is ambitious. It’s the largest transport infrastructure project New Zealand has ever built.

CRL aims to better connect Auckland’s entire rail network. There will be more trains and journeys will be easier and quicker.

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