Kiwi Rail, the owner of Auckland’s Rail Network, implemented speed restrictions as the temperature of the tracks reached 48 degrees Celsius in some areas. The high heat causes the steel rails to expand, requiring trains to slow down to prevent damage.
This resulted in the cancellation of many train services, including those during peak hours. KiwiRail has stated that temporary speed restrictions are put in place when the track temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius and are lifted once the temperature drops.
The heat retention of the steel tracks can lead to delays even after the air temperature has cooled down. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon expressed dissatisfaction with the situation, calling it sub-optimal and demanding better communication and solutions.
Auckland Transport has warned that up to one-third of train services may be cancelled in the coming days, potentially causing chaos for commuters. Mayor Wayne Brown has requested an explanation from rail authorities and called for a meeting to address the disruptions and restore public confidence.
The mayor has invited the Transport Minister to attend the meeting. The cancellation of train services has been a source of frustration for Aucklanders, who have experienced disruptions due to weather, signal failures, and other issues. The city is seeking swift resolution to these problems to ensure smooth and reliable transportation for its residents.