Sth Auck Gets Electric Ready


It’s South Auckland’s turn to get ready for Auckland’s new electric trains arriving 2013-14.

Work starts on Monday on rebuilding six bridges in Manukau and Papakura so they can cope with the clearance needed for lines required for train electrification.

The work continues until next March and will include some weekend trains being replaced by buses.

Some of the grunty work will be done during the Christmas- New Year closedown of rail services.

Then next year we hopefully will start seeing some of the 3500 masts that needed to be erected for the electrification.

Here is how that will look in Auckland, according to KiwiRail:

Papatoetoe’s St George St:
This will be completely rebuilt and at the same time widening the road to include cycle lanes.

The project will be carried out in two stages:

Stage 1
Starts next week for six weeks.  It involves piling in the rail corridor and construction of new bridge abutments.  Bridge width will be reduced to allow a single lane of traffic in each direction.

Stage 2
Starts Boxing Day 2010 for three weeks.  Demolition of existing bridge and construction of new bridge.  Road closed at the bridge.

Papatoetoe’s Bridge St:

This will be completely rebuilt and at the same time widening the bridge to improve pedestrian access and provide extra space for cars and cyclists.

The project will be carried out in two stages:

Stage 1
Works will start in late October/early November.  The road will be closed for 3-4 weeks in November to allow the piling and the new bridge abutments to be constructed.

Stage 2
The road will be closed for three weeks from Boxing Day onwards to allow demolition of the existing bridge and construction of the new bridge.
Manurewa’s Jutland Rd bridge:
This has to be completely rebuilt.

This will happen  October 4 –  November  21. There will be full road closure throughout to allow piling, construction of new abutments, removal and reconstruction of the bridge to be completed and the road reopened before work begins at Browns Road and Station Road. Pedestrian and traffic detours will be in place.
Browns Road in Manurewa:
This also has to be completely rebuilt and at the same time, improvements to the roads to provide better access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Stage 1
October 11- 31.  The road will remains open enabling works within and adjacent to the rail corridor.

Stage 2
26 December – February 2011. The road will be completely closed for this duration. Pedestrian and traffic detours will be in place.

Manurewa’s Station Rd:

This will also be completely rebuilt and at the same time, improvements to the roads to provide better access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Stage 1
November 15 - 30 will see enabling works at road level and lane closures over the bridge.

Stage 2
December 26  – February 2011 sees the removal and reconstruction of bridge. Road  will  be closed for duration. Pedestrian and traffic detours will be in place.




  1. Ian M says:

    Are any of these bridges going to also be widened so that another 1 or 2 tracks can be installed in the future?

  2. Anthony M says:

    So to which stations will the lines be electrified on each line?

  3. Matt L says:

    Ian - The definitely should but whats the bet they won’t. It was probably cut from the budget.

    Anthony - All lines will be electrified between Swanson and Papakura (including Onehunga)

  4. Nick R says:

    Increasing the length of the span for extra tracks would require rebuilding the abutments as well as the bridge, so probably not very likely.

  5. rtc says:

    Future proofing like this probably would have been possible if we had the petrol tax money flowing in, as it is the budget for electrification is so tight that a lot of network upgrades have been put on hold, only the bare minimun can be afforded thanks to Joyce’s cost cutting.

  6. Matt L says:

    Nick they will all need new abutments as they need to be higher, in Jon’s article above many of them mention new piling and abutments being built.

    rtc - The regional fuel tax was only to pay for the new trains not the infrastructure. That was always to be paid for by the government. In saying that, from memory the initial electrification plans some additional network upgrades in it like Kiwirail installing a third line in from Puhunui to Westfield ($26 mil) and grade separating the Westfield junction ($7 mil). I think these were cut by the government but I assume that Kiwirail still wants to do them so they might still build the bridges to be able to handle it.

  7. Andrew says:

    I don’t know why they’re rebuilding Bridge St in Puhinui. Why not just make Puhinui Road go straight through by building a bridge there? Ive never understood why traffic has to go up and around bridge st when Puhinui road is such an important arterial route through to the airport.

  8. Ian M says:

    What a shame, again a lack of foresight. Am currently messaging from the comfort of a train from Glasgow to Aberdeen in a modern diesel train, travelling near 80 mph. What a shame NZ couldnt by half a dozen of these and put them on the Akl-Ham-Rotorua and Tauranga routes! No need to electrify that route when these diesels are perfectly fine.

  9. Scott says:

    @Ian M

    We know there are good diesel trains but they cost more to purchase and run than electrics.

  10. rtc says:

    for long distance diesels in NZ are a good choice, however, for surburban operation electrics are cheaper to operate and provide better acceleration which is pretty essential for the stop start nature of a suburban train.

  11. dj says:

    When they rebuilt the railway bridge for the new section of Cavendish Drive the bridge has room for 3 tracks.

  12. Ian M says:

    Im by no means suggesting that diesels should be used for the auckland commuter network (which is pretty obvious), and Ive been looking forward to electrification for years. But I think a set of modern diesel trains would do wonders for the akl-hamilton-rot-tauranga routes. In any case I still think that we should be leaving room for at least a 3rd track on the southern line!

  13. rtc says:

    On the CBT forum someone claimed they would be built for 3 tracks and pointed out that when the Massey Rd overbridge was built it was constructed to allow to 4 tracks.

  14. Joshua says:

    When spending that much money you would assume we would future proof these route, so hopefully we don’t pull the typical cut-cost auckland attitude to these bridges. Also agree with Andrew, wouldn’t this be a good opportunity to fix Puhinui Road, It would also speed up construction I would assume, as they won’t have as much TM costs, and time.

  15. rtc says:

    Unless NZTA or the council wants to step in and fund building a new bridge at Puhinui then I wouldn’t support Kiwirail having to use up extra funds to make life easier for motorists, the electrification budget it tight as it is, with lots of needed upgrades to the rail network cut, we don’t need nice to haves tacked on for road users.

  16. karl says:

    I have seen the plans (not sure whether they were the final ones, though, and was not involved personally, so I didn’y look that closely) and I think there was no future-proofing for any added tracks.

    In KiwiRail’s defense (they don’t hold the purse-strings), this kind of futureproofing adds significant cost to a project. It is not only the span width itself, it is also purchasing property and realigning side roads or property access for wider bridges (that are also higher above the surrounding areas over a longer width) - in some cases, this would presumably have been quite costly. Short-sighted, yes. Not probably not on the part of KiwiRail or the designers. If you have limited money, you don’t plan for more than the present needs.

  17. rtc says:

    Plans for triple tracking are quite advanced though to allow for a freeing up of freight movements.

  18. karl says:

    You may be talking of something further north?

  19. Carl says:

    SO Pukekohe gets roped into the super city and we have to pay for this, but we don’t even get it?

    awesome, another FAIL. so know what, catch a train to Papakura and switch?

    can’t wait to see the numbers decline once again and people just getting back into cars.

    why can this not be done correctly and taken all the way to pukekohe! wtf is wrong with the ARC

  20. karl says:

    “why can this not be done correctly and taken all the way to pukekohe! wtf is wrong with the ARC”

    Carl, why bash the ARC for gods sake - they are not the ones who keep stripping the rail budget, or taking away the fuel tax, or then telling the ARC that the government “funding” for rail is just a loan.

    Without ARC, there would be no rail electrification at all. And I doubt Joyce is gonna build a motorway to Pukekohe either. Of course you never know.

  21. Matt L says:

    karl - don’t even mention it or next week there will be an announcement that we have to build a new motorway because there is a space near the city without one.

    Carl - It has always been that the government would pay for the electrification infrastructure, the ARC was initially to pay for the trains to use that infrastructure. I’m pretty sure that if the wires were extended to Pukekohe then ARTA would have been planning to run electric services there.

  22. Carl says:

    Guys not personally having a go at anyone, and I guess my choice of “company / government board” was incorrect… but

    “if they were extended” why should the words “if and extended” even have to be used?

    someone needs to explain why Pukekohe was included in the supercity BS when important things like this happen, we don’t get anything of? aren’t we paying for it, if we are in the super city?

    its just utter rubbish and shits me that local money will now be pulled to fund something we wont even get.

    it shouldn’t be in the future, it should be now with everybody else.

    because no other solution is being offered, there is no talk of what services from pukekohe there is going to be?

    Jon can you find anything?

    as for the motorway, it goes past bombay, 15 mins from pukekohe down town

  23. Jon C says:

    @Carl ARC pushed for it in parliamentary committees that considered electric rail in the Labour days and said it could then be extended to hamilton.. but there wasnt enough money allocated in the end to enable it to happen. BTW story up about Pukekohe railway station location.


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