Warning over Auckland's new, quiet electric trains

By Sophie Ryan

Train driver John Keenan going through training on Auckland Transport's new electric commuter trains. Photo / Richard Robinson
Train driver John Keenan going through training on Auckland Transport's new electric commuter trains. Photo / Richard Robinson

People are being warned to take extra care as electric train services are introduced in Auckland.

The new quiet trains begin along the Onehunga Branch Line on Monday.

TrackSAFE NZ manager Megan Drayton said people need to stay focused around railway tracks with the introduction of the electric trains.

"We would encourage everyone to make sure they have removed headphones when around level crossings, always look both ways for trains and to cross tracks only when the lights and bells are not operating.''

Ms Drayton said people needed to remember it was illegal to cross a railway line at any other place than a designated level crossing.

KiwiRail reported 145 near-misses in the last year of people trespassing in the rail corridor.

Acting chief executive Iain Hill said extra care needed to be taken around the newly installed overhead electricity wires along the Auckland railway lines.

"We have seen fatalities and injuries on overhead wires in other parts of New Zealand and elsewhere in the world.

"We do not want to have an incident in Auckland so we ask that people stay well clear of these wires at all times.''

Last year there were 18 collisions with vehicles at level crossing, three of them were fatal.

In 2012 there were 16 collisions.

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Safety messages for Aucklanders: Always stay behind the yellow lines at train stations Take care around overhead wires, do not carry tall objects, fly kites or attempt to climb masts carrying wires Do not trespass on the rail corridor. It is illegal and dangerous Pedestrians should cross tracks only at designated pedestrian crossings.

- APNZ

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