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Ask Phoebe: Station work part of electric rail system

By Phoebe Falconer

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Photo / NZPA
Photo / NZPA

At the old Auckland Railway Station near Britomart, there appear to be new electric pylons going up, and there are new paint markings on the platform as if this station is going to be used again. What are the plans for this site? Jonty Victor, Auckland.

This is all part of the electrification of Auckland's railway lines in preparation for the introduction of new electric trains, which begins in April. A major part of the rail upgrade is in the section between Britomart and Quay Park, which includes the old railway station, now decommissioned.

At present the track is set up so that trains coming from around the waterfront can access three platforms, and trains coming from Newmarket (the majority of the traffic) can only access the other two. Once completed, the new track layout will allow trains from both main lines to access all platforms and run on either of the two tracks in and out of Britomart. This will provide greater flexibility in train movements by allowing for:

Faster recovery from operating incidents such as a train breakdown or signalling outages.

Fewer delays as trains will not have to wait to get into the station.

Timetable improvements as it will increase the number of trains in and out of the station every hour.

I can find no information to suggest that the old Auckland Railway Station will be reopened for passengers.

Both Muriwai Rd and Waimauku Station Rd have stop signs where they meet at State Highway 16. I would think that someone turning right on to State Highway 16 from Muriwai Rd would have to give way to someone going straight ahead from Waimauku Station Rd on to Muriwai Rd. However, most motorists don't do that; they turn right, expecting the motorist who is going straight to give way. I've seen a lot of near accidents and angry drivers as a result of this. Just wondering if I have it wrong or if those turning right are wrong? Steve Bridges, Muriwai Beach.

On a recent trip to Helensville I stopped for a look at this intersection. It's unusual in that the road is not straight from Muriwai Rd to Waimauku Station Rd; there is a slight dog-leg. If you were turning right from Muriwai Rd on to SH16 to head towards Auckland, you would find yourself on a straight bit of road (just) by the time you pass Waimauku Station Rd, and so traffic on the station road must wait for you before they go across to Muriwai Rd. The reverse applies when travelling from Waimauku Station Rd and turning right on to SH16 towards Helensville; traffic on Muriwai Rd must wait for you. I can only surmise that the intersection has been deliberately designed with this in mind, but from your observations, Mr Bridges, it's not working terribly well.

- NZ Herald

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