Newmarket “Lost” Rail Track

With Newmarket due to open this week, the Herald covers the forum discussion topic that raises the issue of the missing link between the Southern and the Western line.

The junction has been reconfigured in conjunction with the Auckland Regional Transport Authority’s $35 million construction of the station, which Transport Minister Steven Joyce will formally open on Thursday, before trains start using it next Monday.

KiwiRail says that as it gained a better understanding of the transport authority’s timetable needs for passenger services, it decided a third rail link between the station and the western line was not required on any day-to-day basis.

“It was determined that this link was a ‘nice to have’ as opposed to a ‘need to have’ as there are enough alternative traffic routes through the junction without it,” a spokeswoman said.

The state-owned corporation’s decision to drop the link was disclosed in a Campaign for Better Transport online discussion forum rather than its own project website, which incorrectly shows the original plan.

There’s a map or two over at the forum.

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