Auckland Rail Recovery Procedures – How The Network is Recovered in the Event of an Incident

How do we recover the network after a failure or incident


After the derailment of a passenger train inside the Britomart Tunnel and Station a few weeks ago I asked Auckland Transport for their rail recovery procedures in such and other incidences that can occur on the network. As a disclaimer I use to work for Transdev in their control room and would have been part of the staff responsible for executing the recovery procedures if it happened then. Needless to say with HOP online being able to switch to busses when the rail network is affected makes the initial stages of recovery easier than what it was pre HOP days.


The files below outline the rail recovery procedures:






Auckland Transport CAS-740842-Q4V0R56

3.18 IN Status 3 – Major Incident (Some Lines Affected – Britomart Ope.._ (003)

3.12 IN Status 2 – Major Incident (ALL Lines Affected-Britomart Open) (003)

3.11 IN Status 1 – Major Incident (All Lines Affected – Britomart Clos.._ (003)

TDAK Contingency Plans Redacted


We will not know for 12-24 months how the train derailed whether it was a broken rail or the points reverting while the train was still going over them. However, Auckland Transport, Transdev and KiwiRail handled the situation well for a first-of-its-kind accident and being able to partially reopen Britomart as fast as they did. When the City Rail Link opens more resilience will be available in the network as Western Line and possibly some Onehunga Line trains being able to terminate at Aotea Station while Eastern and Southern Lines would have been able to use Britomart, City Centre busses (or even Light Rail) would have handled between Britomart and Aotea traffic. So well done to the agencies involved in the recovery.


That said Auckland Transport and Trandev’s communications to passengers still let’s it down and has done since the Super City was formed. While stations now have posters on which busses to catch in the event of a network disruption the verbal and directional communication seems to be deficient still. That is I should not be seeing pictures or Tweets of people being lost at Britomart or The Strand wondering where the trains were and what back up options there were. That said even on a standard day the communications across the network can leave you going “huh?”

Simplicity is the key, less is more (in terms of words spoken) (I say that ironically given the neoliberal lineage that phrase comes from) and repeat the message often.


Anyhow there are the rail recovery files for your reading.


Soon Britomart will be a through station upon the completion of the City Rail Link by 2021-2022 (actually 2024)