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Auckland's Britomart station closed as KiwiRail continues track repairs

Some Auckland commuters can expect delays and cancellations following the temporary closure of Britomart Train Station in the CBD due to a track fault early this morning.

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Urgent repair work on the tracks has left it out of action since early in the morning of September 17. Source: 1 NEWS

Auckland Transport says services travelling to Britomart will be stopping at Newmarket Train Station instead.

The Onehunga line is cancelled between Britomart and Penrose.

An Auckland Transport spokesperson told 1 NEWS the number of commuters affected are in the “low thousands”.

The spokesperson said the number of passengers using public transport is lower than usual because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of 3.00pm, Auckland Transport said the track fault is still ongoing.

KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle said it was likely the route into Britomart would close overnight. 

"We anticipate the line into Britomart will remain closed today but will reopen tomorrow morning. Further work will be undertaken Friday evening, to fully complete the job.”

There are replacement bus services from Britomart to Newmarket from stop 1338 on Commerce St between Quay and Tyler St.

The closure comes as KiwiRail continues its upgrade of the Auckland rail network. 

Moyle said its upgrades have been accelerated, as previously announced. 

He said more than 100km of Auckland's rail network needs replacing or repairing.

"KiwiRail was already aware of the faults near Britomart and had planned to deal with them during a future temporary closure," Moyle said.

"However routine monitoring of the site last night revealed the Rolling Contact Fatigue (RCF) – cracks caused by pressure on the rail from trains passing over – was significant enough that they needed to be fixed immediately.

"In taking such decisions, safety is KiwiRail’s paramount concern. Overseas, RCF has been associated with derailments."

He apologised for the situation. 

"We assure the public that we are working around the clock and no maintenance work has higher priority than this project in Auckland."

For safety reasons, Auckland Transport has put in place a 40km/h speed restriction for all trains as repairs continue.

The Southern Line will be closed from September 21 between Newmarket and Penrose for four weeks while KiwiRail continues its repairs on the Auckland network.

It follows a four-week closure of the Eastern line between Ōtāhuhu and Britomart, which is due to reopen on Monday. 

KiwiRail staff have been at Britomart since this morning and is working to repair the track.