Rail environment

Auckland Upgrades

Auckland Transport and KiwiRail’s strategy is to remove (either by closure or grade separation) all at-grade railway crossings in Auckland over the next 20 years, where practicable. 

A crossing is “at-grade” if it is on the same level as the road.  Grade separation involves separating the road from the rail by building either by overpass or underpass.

An initial prioritisation for removing road crossings is currently being reviewed.  Things being considered include the safety record of the crossing, topography, traffic numbers and the proposed timetable changes on the wider transport network.

Grade separating a crossing is extremely expensive (up to $100m for the most difficult sites) and may not be feasible in some locations.

There also could be significant impacts on surrounding property, requiring extensive consultation.

The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) included around $600 million for level crossing removal but this remains unfunded.

However work will start next year on a road from Laxon Terrace to Cowie Street with a bridge over the rail corridor and closure of the level crossing at Sarawia St in Newmarket.

The City Rail Link (CRL) will also mean the road crossing at Normanby Rd is removed and the CRL team are looking at options for Porters Rd.

In the meantime, a lot of work is also being done to upgrade pedestrian rail crossings across Auckland.

Recent crossing upgrades

The following crossings in Auckland have been upgraded in the five years to August 2017: 

  • Lloyd Avenue and Asquith Ave (Avondale) - Full Pedestrian Maze Crossing Upgrade including signals and footpaths.
  • Normanby Rd, Mt Eden, Full Pedestrian Crossing Upgrade including footpaths.
  • George St, Kingsland, Full Pedestrian Crossing Upgrade including new mazes and footpaths.
  • Church St East, Penrose, Full Pedestrian Upgrade, including footpaths.
  • Sarawia St, Road Crossing Upgrade (NBL), including new stormwater drainage upgrade, automated gating, new maze Installed.
  • Morningside Station, Morningside Full Pedestrian Upgrade, automated gates and construction of new approach footpaths.

Most of the road crossings across the rail network have also had new asphalt laid since 2015.

Planned upgrades

Auckland Transport’s strategy is to install automatic gates that close when the warning bells and lights are activated on all pedestrian rail crossings on the Auckland electrified rail network.

The automatic gates and the associated signal controls will be installed in priority order as funding becomes available, starting with crossings with the highest accident risk profile.

Over the next 12 months Auckland Transport has secured $11.4 million of funding.

Auckland Transport plans to close four pedestrian level crossings and upgrade 13 level crossings across Auckland.

Western Line

On the Western Line (from Britomart to Swanson) 13 pedestrian crossings will be upgraded and automatic gates installed.  This is currently in the investigation and design stage.  The following crossings are expected to receive automatic gates:

  • Glen Eden Station– Glenview Road (2)
  • Baldwin Ave. Station – Rossgrove Terrace (2)
  • Fruitvale Station – Fruitvale Road (2)
  • Woodward Road (2)
  • Avondale Station – St. Jude Street (2)
  • Metcalfe Road (2)
  • Lloyd Avenue (1)

As part of the Avondale to New Lynn Cycleway, it is planned to install automatic gates on the following crossings in the 2018/19 financial year.

•    Chalmers Street (2)
•    St Georges Road (2)
•    Portage Road (2) 

Southern Line

It is also planned to install automatic gates on the four pedestrian level crossings at the Te Mahia and Takanini Stations.

Planned closures 

Papatoetoe Station –  as there is an existing footbridge at this station, and there have been changes to the security and ticket controls, Auckland Transport plans to close the two pedestrian level crossings.

Sarawia Street Newmarket – a road is being constructed from Laxon Terrace to Cowie Street with a bridge over the rail corridor. This will result in closure of the level crossing.

Glen Innes Station – planning is progressing to replace the narrow underpass with a wide footbridge that will provide access to the station platform and the new walking/cycling shared path. On completion of the bridge, both pedestrian level crossings will be closed.

Homai Station –a mobility access compliant ramp will be installed from Browns Road. This will mean closing the two level crossings.

(Source: Auckland Transport, January 2018)

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