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 Enter the rail corridor.

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.

Works requiring a Permit to Enter:

  • construction activities/civil works near or on the rail corridor
  • surveying near or on the rail corridor
  • installing or maintaining cables, pipes, power lines and drains
  • maintaining or protecting the corridor (including planting and removing graffiti)
  • cycling or walking near the rail corridor moving over-dimensional loads across the corridor
  • filming or photographing
  • moving livestock across the rail corridor


Allow at least 30 working days to obtain a permit

Rail Corridor Induction and Electrification Safety Awareness training may be required.

Further information and contact numbers for advice can be obtained from the National Permit Office.

Visit the KiwiRail permits webpage for information on how to apply for a permit to enter click here.

Complete our Corridor Access Request form to apply for a Permit to Enter.

When you apply for a Permit to Enter rail land we'll work with you to understand the nature of your request and ensure the right combination of conditions are included in your permit to keep you safe.

Special conditions applied will depend on:

  • what you want to do on rail land
  • how close to rail lines or structures you will be
  • how close to electrical systems you will be
  • when you need to do the work (date, time of day, how long)

Getting permission means you will enter into a formal agreement with us agreeing the specific terms upon which your Permit to Enter is being granted. 

Establishing if a Permit to Enter is required

Criteria considered:

  • Is a Permit to Enter required for this activity?
    • If Yes:
  • Do we have all the information we need from the applicant to make a decision to grant permission to access the rail corridor?
  • Is there any other reason why a permit should not be granted in the circumstances?
  • Has the applicant considered all potential risk of environmental impact and demonstrated controls to be implemented?
  • Is the applicant’s activity permitted (within the regions plan), if not, is there demonstration of resource consents?
  • Is there demonstration of environmental compliance with relevant legislative requirements?

When a Permit to Enter is required the following information will also be required:

  • Health and safety plan (this should be reviewed and approved by your principal PCBU/the organisation who is requesting you to do the work. This will then be reviewed to ensure it meets our requirements).
  • Work methodology (what you will be doing and how you will be doing it. This will be reviewed and approved by our engineers and protection team to ensure it meets our requirements. We will especially be looking for how your work will affect our track).
  • Assessment of overhead traction (in electrified areas) and the risks to safety for you and our network.
  • Proof of appropriate public liability insurance (level of cover at $10million unless approved by our legal team).
  • Timeline to show your programme of works so that we can have confidence that you will be on schedule to hand back our track/land when you agreed.
  • Payment documentation (opening an account with us/providing a purchase order number to pay on your current account/credit card details for immediate payment).
  • Site plan to show where you will access, where you will be working and whether you require to cross our track.

Special conditions that will be applied to your Permit to Enter may include:

  • Rail safety protection required from Kiwirail.
  • Other documentation required (e.g. a grant of right). 
  • Applicant is required to complete a Rail Corridor induction.
  • Applicant is required to complete  Electrification Awareness Training. 
  • Applicant must establish means to  monitor track settlement (the method must be approved by our engineers).
  • Applicant must establish a communication plan for third parties that will be affected by the proposed activities .
  • Activity requires a block of line - and these are only available on certain dates/times.


You must have the appropriate KiwiRail approval before you can enter the rail corridor.

  • If your activity invloves working on or near electrical overhead lines or underground cables, you will need a Permit to Enter AND one or more of the following specific permits which will provide details relating to keeping you safe in the specific location.
  • Traction Electical Safety Permit or
  • Permit to Work Close to Rail Power Lines - Non Traction or
  • Permit to Dig (activities location of buried services process).


Carrying out an activity in an area with electrical overhead lines – Permit to Enter and a Permit to Work Near Railway Power Lines is required.

Carrying out an activity on/near an electrified rail areas with traction overhead wires - a Permit to Enter and an Electrical Safety Permit is required. NOTE: Required if your work is not related to electrical activity but is likely to encroach within 4 metres of any overhead wires, traction poles, substations or switchgear equipment.

Carrying out an activity on/near non-Traction Overhead Lines – Permit to Enter and a Permit to Work Near Railway Power Lines is required. NOTE: Required if you are working within four metres of any overhead line regardless of function or voltage.

Carrying out an activity excavating the ground surface (regardless of the depth being disturbed) – Permit to Enter and a Permit to Dig is required. (KiwiRail has many services below ground through the Network and the Permit to Dig will activate the Location of Services process).