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Hundreds of Auckland rail commuters faced long, gruelling trips home last night after a fault forced train crews to hand-wind signals along their routes.
Text messages from rail operator Veolia initially said trains throughout its Auckland network were delayed by about 30 minutes by the fault, which struck about 5.15pm.
But it was still causing disruption more than three hours later.
One man said it took him nearly two hours to reach New Lynn on a train that left Britomart at 6.20pm.
He and dozens of other passengers endured long delays at Newmarket and near Mt Eden, enjoyed a good run past Mt Albert but then were stopped again "in the middle of nowhere".
His wife was stuck on a train she boarded about 7.50pm at Britomart, after being told by a Veolia employee that services were back to normal.
A spokesman for Government rail agency Ontrack, Kevin Ramshaw, said his organisation accepted full responsibility for the fault in its centralised train control system operated from Wellington, and could only apologise to Veolia's passengers.
He said the fault struck at Paerata, near Pukekohe, and disrupted Auckland's entire network past there.
At 9pm Veolia general manager Nick French said western lines services were back to normal between Newmarket and Swanson, but a second and more localised fault meant taxis were replacing trains on the last stretch to the Waitakere village.
For the full story, got to:
The New Zealand Herald
Friday June 06, 2008
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