INDEPENDENT NEWS

Silver Ferns reintroduced to Auckland Urban

Published: Mon 14 Oct 2002 05:00 PM
Silver Ferns reintroduced to Auckland Urban
Two Silver Fern railcars re-enter service today on the Pukekohe to Auckland Southern Line as part of the management of passenger train services by the Auckland Regional Council (ARC).
ARC Passenger Transport Committee Chairwoman, Catherine Harland, said the introduction of the Silver Ferns will ensure train services are not disrupted while existing trains are taken out of service for refurbishment.
“One of the challenges of the current upgrade of Auckland’s train services is to make sure there are no disruption to services. We currently have two diesel multiple units from Tranz Rail’s existing fleet being refurbished by ALSTOM at the Hutt Workshops.
“The refurbishment is part of a wider programme as the region works to increase the attractiveness of trains as a choice for public transport.
“There must be enough trains for the additional demand expected to be generated by the opening of Britomart next year and the trains need to be more attractive for passengers than those on the tracks right now."
Cr Harland said Aucklanders had an opportunity to experience the Silver Ferns last year when they were used on the “Waikato Connection” train which stopped at Papakura, Middlemore and Newmarket until October 2001.
The Silver Ferns will provide a limited stops express timetable, stopping at Papakura, Manurewa and Newmarket for the morning Pukekohe to Auckland service, and is time tabled to leave Pukekohe at 7.13 am arriving in Auckland at 8.03 am.
There will be another train leaving two minutes later from Papakura stopping at all the usual express stops.
The evening Auckland to Pukekohe Silver Fern service will depart at 5.37pm after the normal 5.30 pm express service and will stop in Newmarket, Manurewa and Papakura, arriving at Pukekohe at 6.26 pm.
Cr Harland said feedback on the Silver Ferns has always been very positive and the ARC will look forward to hearing passenger comments this time around.
She said as well as making sure there are enough trains in the short term, the ARC is currently also working through the options to make sure the region has sufficient modern trains to meet the demand for services every 10 minutes at peak by 2006.

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