Te Huia passenger train service between Waikato / Hamilton and Auckland has been banned from the Auckland metro area. Photo / File
The rail service that transports passengers from Hamilton to Auckland, Te Huia, has been banned from travelling north of Papakura after the driver failed to obey signals, putting the train at risk of a collision.
In a statement, Waka Kotahi director of land transport Neil Cook said the decision comes into effect this afternoon.
It follows two separate incidents where the KiwiRail train driver failed to obey a red signal, putting the train at risk of colliding with another train. The most recent incident was yesterday morning.
Cook said KiwiRail will be operating buses out of the Papakura train station to replace the train service around the Auckland Metro area.
“We understand that this will cause disruption for people using this service, and we don’t take decisions like this lightly, but we consider that prompt action is crucial to ensure the ongoing safety of everyone using the Auckland Metro rail network,” Cook said.
He said the prohibition will be lifted when KiwiRail “has provided satisfactory evidence of the measures taken to ensure that the safety risks have been adequately mitigated”.
“KiwiRail has assured us that they are taking urgent action to prevent further incidents.”
KiwiRail has been approached for comment.
Rachel Maher is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. She has worked for the Herald since 2022.