6 Aug 2015

Akl electric trains improve rail punctuality

2:48 pm on 6 August 2015

Auckland's new electric trains are already improving the reliability of commuter rail services, according to the region's transport agency.

One of Auckland's 57 new electric trains at Henderson Station

One of Auckland's 57 new electric trains at Henderson Station Photo: Supplied/Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport said since the changeover to the new fleet of electric trains nearly three weeks ago, punctuality has increased to about 88 percent.

The agency had brought forward the phasing out of the ageing diesel-hauled fleet, due to their increasing unreliability and maintenance problems.

Auckland Transport rail services manager Craig Inger said driver unfamiliarity with the high-tech trains remained a problem but that was always expected to take up to six weeks to settle down.

He said problems with signals and points on the Kiwirail network should also be dealt with during the coming months.

But he said things were improving.

"We're currently, as of yesterday, hitting the high 80's - so 88 per cent punctuality, and much improved reliability as well," he said.

"I would suggest four to six weeks to really get the driver familiarity out there, so they get more confident with the trains, so I'd suggest the improvements will be carrying on."

Mr Inger said a programme of network upgrades was due over the coming months, to improve the reliability of points and signals.

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