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Wear on Auckland's metro rail network is more widespread than first thought, triggering urgent work to replace 100km of track in six months.
From Monday, track speeds will be lowered from 80 to 40km/h so commuter trains can continue to operate safely in the meantime.
Journeys will take longer and fewer services will be able to run during the morning and afternoon weekday peak travel periods.
It's possible changes will also be made to the frequency of train services at other times of the day, and at weekends.
Rolling contact fatigue has become increasingly prevalent on the Auckland metro rail network.
It occurs when stress created by contact between rail and the rolling wheel of a train causes cracks in the track, which continue to grow.
KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller said the work was anticipated as part of the $1 billion programme to modernise the network and prepare it for the growth that will come with the City Rail Link.
But that work has now been brought forward.
"Following our testing we are accelerating our programme of replacing the most worn sections of rail and resurfacing less damaged sections, Miller said.
"We are equipped and ready to resolve the issue with the necessary rail already in the country and staff available to lay it. Specialist rail grinding equipment, which will be used to remediate some of the rail, will arrive from Australia shortly."
This article first appeared on www.nzherald.co.nz
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