Rail operators other than KiwiRail can access the rail corridor under contract, and provide services to customers.
Auckland Transport contracts train operating companies to run the Auckland commuter services. KiwiRail owns the track, and provides access and maintenance services. The current Metro operator is TransDev.
Greater Wellington Regional Council contracts train operating companies to run the Wellington commuter services. KiwiRail owns the track, and provides access and maintenance services. Metlink is the current Metro operator.
New Zealand has around 60 heritage rail operators that run steam or older diesel engines, or display historic trains and carriages. They are often non-profit or charitable organisations.
Some operators have privately owned tracks from 1km to over 5km. In some cases heritage groups are allowed to use the national rail network.
A comprehensive list of rail heritage lines, museums and excursions can be found on the Federation of Rail Organisations of New Zealand website.