550 rail workers set to tackle Auckland tracks

More than 550 people will be working on Auckland’s rail network over Easter, making improvements and carrying out important maintenance work.

One of the regular network closures over the year, the Auckland Metro Network will be completely closed from Friday, 29 March, reopening on Tuesday, 2 April.

“We are in the middle of a massive, $1.9 billion upgrade of Auckland’s rail system in preparation for the opening of City Rail Link,” KiwiRail Chief Asset Development Officer David Gordon says.

“There is still a huge amount of work to do in the next few years and we need to take advantage of public holiday periods, when train passenger numbers are low, to get it done.

“There will be more than 550 KiwiRail staff and contractors out on the tracks over the holiday, and in some areas we will be working 24/7.”

“Easter gives us four full days to get stuck in. We are able to work more efficiently and progress a range of major rail improvement projects, as well as carrying out more invasive types of track maintenance, which is needed to keep trains running. This is not the type of work that can usually be done overnight.

“Work over Easter includes replacing worn rails between Middlemore and Papatoetoe, as part of our push to reduce speed restrictions on the network; replacing crucial track infrastructure like the Penrose turnout; and continuing our Rail Network Rebuild, Third Main project and extending the electrified network to from Papakura to Pukekohe.”

Auckland Transport’s Director of Public Transport Stacey van der Putten says long weekends like this Easter are a good time to get some serious work completed on the rail network when less Aucklanders will travel by public transport.

“It’s really important that Auckland’s rail network is in the best possible condition when the City Rail Link opens in 2026 and KiwiRail’s maintenance work over long weekends like this will help us get to that point,” Ms van der Putten says.

“We’re putting on a range of rail replacement buses this weekend to make sure that Aucklanders can continue to travel where they need to while KiwiRail’s work is underway.

“If you’re planning to travel on public transport this weekend, make sure to check the AT Mobile App or Journey Planner on the AT website for the latest updates and directions on the quickest way to get to your destination.”

Please see the AT website for bus replacement timetables: Planned Rail Closures (at.govt.nz)

Work being carried out over Easter includes:

  • Major track and re-railing work between Middlemore and Papatoetoe, to reduce speed restrictions on the line. There is also and work around Middlemore Station, as part of the Third Main line project.
  • Continuing work between Papakura – Pukekohe as part of extending the overhead electrical lines so that AT trains can run to Pukekohe.
  • Replacing an end-of-life piece of track infrastructure (turnout), which allows trains to change between tracks, north of Penrose Station.
  • Continuing the Rail Network Rebuild work on the Western Line, between Newmarket and New Lynn. General maintenance work is also being done between Fruitvale Rd and Swanson.
  • Re-railing work on the Eastern Line near Britomart and track improvement work near the entrance to Port of Auckland and towards Britomart, as part of the Third Main project.
  • City Rail Link Ltd work around Maungawhau Station and Waitematā/Britomart.

More information about KiwiRail’s projects are available at:

Auckland metro rail | KiwiRail