Trains will soon return to normal on Auckland’s Eastern Line after more than nine months of service suspensions due to trackwork and futureproofing upgrades.

The re-opening of the line coincides with the resumption of services on other lines after Auckland’s usual three-week-long network shutdown over Christmas.

From Monday, services will resume to six stations in Panmure, Glen Innes, Ōrākei, Sylvia Park, and Meadowbank, according to Auckland Transport (AT).

However, the city’s central terminus for train services, Britomart, will remain closed to trains on all lines for another week until January 22.

Until then, trains resuming operation on the Eastern Line will terminate at The Strand — a station on the outskirts of the city centre.

Bus replacement services will transfer passengers further into the city.

In December, KiwiRail chief capital planning officer David Gordon said the focus will now turn to stage three of its rail rebuild programme on other train lines.

Gordon said: “We are working to lift the standard of the Auckland metro network. This will support more reliable services for Aucklanders, encourage more people to use the trains and get the network ready for the more frequent services that will come with the City Rail Link.”

Stage three of the rail rebuild programme will begin later this month.

“Previously, stages one and two have involved lengthy closures of parts of the Southern and Eastern Line. However, for stage three, on weekdays, most trains will continue to run to minimise customer impact,” AT said.

“KiwiRail will return to Stage 3a and the Western Line in early March through to May 2024 to complete drainage and track work between Avondale and Morningside Stations.

“Some works will be completed during weekdays; however, train services will continue to run on a reduced frequency.

“Stage 3b will start on January 26 and run through to March 7 on the Southern Line between Puhinui and Papakura. This work will be completed during weekends and overnight to allow train services to run on weekdays.

“Additional work will take place on the currently closed section of the Southern Line between Papakura and Pukekohe from late May until late June 2024.”

Stage two of the rail network rebuild programme began on the Eastern Line in March last year. The closed section of the line briefly opened for limited operations during the FIFA World Cup.

The overall rebuild programme is expected to be finished after the City Rail Link is complete in 2026.

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