Britomart elevating its escalator game
As City Rail Link construction continues smoothly, the arrival of the first batch of top-of-the-line escalators will soon give Auckland commuters a whole new world of ups and downs.
Most notably seen in London, New York and Tokyo undergrounds, the new metro-grade escalators will move people 30 percent faster than the commercial-grade escalators currently used in Britomart.
As well as elevating network efficiencies, the escalators are safer, wider, have a longer shelf life and can move 6000 people per hour. They also feature a longer horizontal lead-in, so passengers have more time to settle in before being carried up or down.
Eight of the heavy-duty escalators - a first of their kind to be used in New Zealand - will be installed in Britomart Station. Four will run from the train platform to an intermediate level, then four more will run from the intermediate level to the ground floor of the Chief Post Office.
The Schindler metro-grade escalators are also planned to give commuters an uplifting experience in the other CRL stations.
Andrew Swan, Design Manager for the C1 contract - the section of CRL tunnels near Britomart - said they were the heaviest duty escalators available.
“They are specifically designed for facilities such as railway stations and airports to move as many people as possible within a given period of time.”
He said they are designed to run up to 20 hours a day will replace the current escalators at the western end of the station.
“The four escalators from the platform level will be craned into the north tunnel in lower Queen Street and will then be transported through the tunnel into the station.
“A steel gantry (frame) will be installed over the existing escalators and the first existing escalator, currently located within CRL works site, will be lifted out. The first two metro-grade escalators will then be installed,” Andrew said.
“Following commissioning of these two escalators, the old escalators will be removed and the two new metro-grade escalators will be installed.”
The final four escalators will be installed next year during reinstatement of the ground floor of the CPO.