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Works ramp up on CRL

CRL under Auckland city

The New Zealand Government has invested $1.5 billion in Auckland’s rail network, and according to KiwiRail’s capital projects and asset development manager David Gordon, the Christmas break will be an ideal time to deliver key developments.

“The Christmas shutdown allows us to get a huge amount of work done over a short period of time,” Gordon said. 

“Our projects would take years longer to complete without the ability to make big strides during intermittent shutdowns so we thank Aucklanders for their understanding.”

The CRL project team will use the summer closure to accelerate work at the Mt Eden site where tunnelling operations are based. 

“It allows us to build construction momentum again after all of Covid’s disruptions,” said CRL project director Francois Dudouit.

“Getting the job done as quickly and as safely as we can benefits wider Auckland, and, just as importantly, helps reduce disruption for our neighbours.”

Escalated works follow the completion of the C1 contract at Britomart Station last month. 

On 10 November, CRL’s tunnel boring machine (TBM) Dame Whina Cooper started the second leg of its four-stage journey below Auckland streets. 

The TBM’s 785 m venture from Aotea Station is planned to finish early in the new year, where Dame Whina will be dismantled underground and returned to Mt Eden in sections, reassembled and then ready to excavate the second rail tunnel in 2022. 

Dame Whina Cooper completed its first leg, which comprised 860 m from CRL’s Mt eden site to Karangahape, last month. 

The TBM’s work coincides with the retirement of CRL’s two roadheaders machines that have been excavating Karangahape’s two platform caverns. 

“Construction like this – building a station 35 metres below ground in a busy city – is something New Zealand has not seen before,” said Dudouit. 

Karangahape will be the country’s deepest railway station in history.

For more information visit the CRL website.  

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