Accessing the Rail Corridor
KiwiRail manages over 4,000 kilometres of track throughout New Zealand. The tracks and the land surrounding the tracks is called the rail corridor. To ensure people working within the rail corridor are kept safe, you must have a valid permit to be on the rail corridor.
Under the Law
The Railways Act 2005 prohibits persons from entering:
A) any railway infrastructure without the express permission of the appropriate licensed access provider
B) any railway premises without the express or implied authority of the appropriate railway premises manager.
Reasons to obtain a Permit to Enter would include:
- moving livestock across the rail corridor
- filming or photographing (more information here)
- protecting the corridor (includes planting and removing graffiti)
- moving of over dimensional loads across the corridor
- installing or maintaining cables, pipes, power lines and drains (see Utility Services)
- cycling or walking near the rail corridor
- surveying near or on the rail corridor
- contracting near or on the rail corridor
- construction activities near or on the rail corricor.
To obtain a Permit to Enter
For Northern Region Permits, please visit this page here.
When you apply for a permit to enter rail land we'll work with you to find out what conditions the permit needs to keep you safe. It will depend on:
- what you want to do on rail land
- how close to rail lines or structures you will be
- how close you need to be to electric systems and the tracks
- when you need to do the work.
Getting permission also involves signing an indemnity form and depending on the nature of the request for access, we may require you to enter into a formal agreement with us recording the specific terms upon which access is provided.
Sometimes you'll need more than one permit to do your work. For example, if you are working in an area with electrical overhead wires you will also need an Electrical Safety Permit or Permit to Work Near Railway Power Lines.
- Is a permit to enter required?
- Do we have all the information we need from the applicant to make a decision?
- Where applicable:
- has a health and safety plan been provided and, if so, does it meet our requirements?
- has a work methodology been provided and, if so, has it been approved by our engineers and does it meet our requirements?
- has a satisfactory assessment of overhead traction safety been carried out (in electrified areas)?
- Is rail safety protection required?
- If the applicant is providing its own rail safety personnel, who are those personnel and do they hold appropriate and current accreditation/have they had adequate and current training?
- Does the applicant require an induction and/or electrification awareness training?
- Does the applicant need to monitor track settlement and, if so, are they capable of doing that?
- Are there any conditions that the permit should be subject to?
- Are there any third parties that would be affected by the proposed activities?
- Do the proposed activities involve a block of line and, if so, are we able to grant one?
- Does the applicant have appropriate public liability insurance?
- Is there any other documentation that is required (eg a deed of grant)?
- Is there any other reason why a permit should not be granted in the circumstances?
Electrical Safety Permit or Permit to Work Near Railway Power Lines
YOU MUST HAVE KIWIRAIL APPROVAL BEFORE you can enter the rail corridor.
In electrified rail areas with traction overhead wires, you also need an Electrical Safety Permit or Permit to Work Near Railway Power Lines if you are working within four metres of an electrified area including traction poles, overhead wires, substations or switchgear equipment.
Training in Electrification Safety Awareness may also be required.
Applications MUST be received at least two weeks prior to your proposed access.
To obtain an Electrical Safety Permit or Permit to Work Near Railway Power Lines contact your local KiwiRail office (contact details).