ARTA Can See End To Auckland’s Rail Service Delays


ARTA can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the recent disruptions and delays to Auckland’s train services, especially on the Western Line.

It says, in its latest monthly report, that the impact that the network faults and train performance is having on the delivery of a reliable rail service has been subject to discussions at a senior executive level between ARTA and KiwiRail.

Inevitable speed restrictions, while work is being done around places like the new Grafton station (opening to trains this Sunday), have been the worst culprit.

It boasts that in February, 97.9% of scheduled services reached their destination and were not cancelled compared to 96.3% in January and 98.4% for the same month last year.

The two largest incidents were a signal fault at New Lynn that resulted in 12 cancellations and a level crossing fault at Sarawia Street (associated with the Newmarket signalling) during the evening peak on 2 February that caused nine cancellations.

The greatest increase in passenger delays arose from an increase in speed restrictions during February, as a result of a number of infrastructure works underway.

ARTA says that the opening of Grafton Station on Sunday and the completion of the final section of double tracking between Avondale and New Lynn in June this year, will assist in improving service delivery times on the line.

“ARTA and its train operator Veolia appreciate the tolerance of customers during this period of redevelopment.”

Auckland rail patronage is up despite the service issues

But despite the rail problems, and the bus dispute late last year, public transport usage is thankfully back on a growth curve.

For the month of February, total public transport patronage was 5.7% higher than last year.

  • Rail patronage increased by 16.2%
  • Ferry was up by 1.1%
  • Bus patronage was 4.5% higher in comparison to February 2009.
  • The Northern Express bus service continued its stellar performance with patronage up by 18.3% for the period.  There have been over 1.67 million passengers recorded using the Northern Express over the last twelve months, an increase of 21.5% on the same period last year.
  • The total Rail patronage for February is 16.5% (119,056 boardings) higher than February 2009. For the financial year to date (eight months) RTN patronage is 11.3% (648,043 boardings) higher than the same eight months in the previous financial year.


With the return of normal business and school travel following the Christmas/New Year holiday period, the number of passengers using rail services during February once again exceeded 700,000.  The comparative increase is a continuation of the trends that have been apparent since October 2009.

In February, 711,000 passenger journeys were recorded across the network which is an increase of 16.2% on the same month last year.  There were an equal number of business days this year compared to last year.

For the year-to-date there have been 5.313 million passenger journeys made on the region’s rail services, an increase of 9.9% on the same period last year.  There were 468,000 passengers recorded on southern and eastern line services in February, an increase of 18.5% on the same month last year.

For the year-to-date 3.456 million passengers have travelled on Southern and Eastern Line trains, 10.4% more than the same period last year.

Western Line services were impacted to a greater extent by performance issues -however, at 243,000 journeys, there were still 11.9% more passengers recorded on these services in February than for the same month last year.

For the year-to-date 1.857 million passengers have travelled on Western Line services which is 8.9% more than the same period last year.


Ferry patronage for February is 1.1% higher than last February, for the financial year to date  (8 months), patronage is 4.5% higher than the same period in the previous financial year.


This February,  bus patronage grew by 4.5% (167,516 boardings) compared to last February. For the financial year to date (eight months) bus patronage is 0.2% (67,782 boardings) lower than the same period of the previous financial year.    There have been 46.5 million passengers recorded using bus services over the last 12 months, an increase of 2.16% on the same period last year.




  1. Matt L says:

    This is all good news. It was great to see the double tracking completed at Grafton today. I even noticed some of the POs pleased to see it.

    As noted in another thread, today my train was 2 mins early to Britomart, 4 mins faster than the previous best time this year and this is still with the old timetable that didn’t include the end change at Newmarket.

  2. Jon C says:

    @Matt L be interested if your luck continues for the rest of the week and you notice any difference next week

  3. Commuter says:

    My 16:16 service from New Lynn to Britomart was delayed by the usual five+ minutes waiting for the down train. Same old. Double tracking at Grafton doesn’t seem to have made one jot of difference. Pity.

  4. Matt L says:

    Just a little update on my trips this week. Yesterday we were 1 min behind schedule and today 2 mins behind. Not as good as Tuesday but still the top 3 times for this year. Todays journey would have likely been slower without Grafton as we did cross another service on the new track.

    Journey times on the way home haven’t really improved due to New Lynn holding things up.


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