Te Huia passenger service prohibited from operating in Auckland Metro area following Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD) incidents


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has today issued a prohibition notice to KiwiRail to prevent the Te Huia passenger rail service from entering the Auckland Metro area, following recent Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD) incidents involving the service.

The prohibition notice, issued under Section 28 of the Railways Act 2005, will have the effect of terminating the Te Huia rail service at Papakura from this afternoon. KiwiRail will operate buses to replace trains for the service within the Auckland Metro area.

KiwiRail has reported two ‘SPAD A’ (Signal Passed at Danger Category A) events this year involving the Te Huia passenger service between Hamilton and Auckland.

A SPAD A event is defined as an incident when the train driver has failed to obey a red signal and has entered a section of track where there is the potential for conflict with another rail service. Evidence shows that SPAD A events can create a significant risk to public safety and are potential precursors to a collision. The most recent SPAD A incident involving Te Huia was recorded on the morning of Monday 10 July.

Waka Kotahi Director of Land Transport Neil Cook says the action has been taken in order to maintain safety on the rail network.

“We understand that this will cause disruption for people using this service, and we don’t take decisions like this lightly, but we consider that prompt action is crucial to ensure the ongoing safety of everyone using the Auckland Metro rail network.

“KiwiRail has assured us that they are taking urgent action to prevent further incidents. The prohibition order will be lifted by Waka Kotahi after KiwiRail has provided satisfactory evidence of the measures taken to ensure that the safety risks have been adequately mitigated,” Mr Cook says.