Auckland’s train network will be closed next weekend, disrupting travel plans for those going to Billy Joel’s concert at Eden Park on Saturday.
Concertgoers will have to find alternative transport, with KiwiRail, Auckland Transport and the Eden Park Trust working to ensure there would be a “range of options” for people.
KiwiRail’s chief operating officer capital projects David Gordon said a full closure of the city’s network had been planned and “locked in” for rail improvement work and the laying of tracks as part of the City Rail Link (CRL) project.
“I fully appreciate the frustration Aucklanders are feeling with disruption to their train services. We’re working on major improvements to the Auckland network, to build a world-class railway for the city.”
The work needed to be completed before the longer Christmas shutdown of the network.
The travel disruption for Joel’s concert was unavoidable, Gordon said, as the shutdown next week had already been moved to accommodate an event earlier in November.
“We relooked at it but with so many other major events going on in Auckland in the lead-up to Christmas, including Christmas in the Park and the Santa Parade, it just wasn’t possible to move it again.”
Once the work was completed, along with the CRL, Aucklanders would have “more frequent, convenient and reliable” rail services, Gordon said.
AT interim chief executive Mark Lambert said buses, park-and-ride, and “park-and-walk” options would be provided for concertgoers.
“Instead of trains, we’re running a series of event buses from the city centre to Eden Park, as well as express buses from the North Shore along the Northern Busway,” Lambert said.
He asked people attending the concert to plan their journeys ahead of time.
“We expect the event buses to be heavily patronised with increased wait times likely,” he said.
A park-and-ride facility would be made available in the city centre and at Alexandra Park in Greenlane.
A “park-and-walk” would be set up at Westfield St Lukes, almost 2km from Eden Park.
“On-street parking on roads near Eden Park is also likely to be busy,” Gordon said, “so allow extra time if you are planning to park on a nearby street and walk to the venue.”
The number of taxi stands would also be increased to four around the stadium for anyone getting to and from the concert by rideshare.