Auckland rail network re-opens after a successful temporary closure

24 January 2022

Auckland’s rail network fully re-opened today after KiwiRail successfully delivered an unprecedented work programme across the city during a temporary closure.

KiwiRail Acting Chief Executive David Gordon says it was one of the most ambitious temporary closures, from Boxing Day until today, and an immense amount of work has been achieved.

“It has been the single biggest mobilisation of resources for a temporary closure with around 1100 people working day and night putting in more than 155,000 hours to make the network more resilient and reliable and to help prepare it for the opening of the City Rail Link.”

Work has been carried out across 31 different sites in Auckland. Progress was made on projects to extend electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe, continue construction on the third main line through the busiest part of the network between Westfield and Wiri, replacing track in the complex entry to Britomart Station, and carrying out necessary track repairs across the metro area. 

“My sincere thanks go to our staff and contractors who gave up their time during the Christmas break to make this temporary closure a success. Without these temporary closures, our projects would take years longer to complete. Thanks also to the people of Auckland - we know this work can be noisy and sometimes at inconvenient hours and we thank you for your patience. This necessary work progressed a $1.5 billion suite of projects which will enable a world class rail service,” says Mr Gordon.  

This weekend there will be another temporary closure while KiwiRail takes advantage of the Auckland Anniversary weekend to undertake works at Westfield, Pukekohe and general upgrades on the northern line from 29 – 31 January. There will also be a temporary closure the following weekend coinciding with Waitangi Day. Freight services will still run during these closures.

During the summer programme major works on the rail network were also carried out in Wellington, Mount Maunganui and Northland. Upgrades and improvements were made to Plimmerton Station and the rail infrastructure on the Wellington network. In Northland, 2500 sleepers were laid and 1.75km of rail track in Kaiwaka, near Oneriri crossing as well as bridge strengthening work and general track maintenance in Mount Maunganui. 

By numbers – what was achieved this temporary closure of the Auckland rail network:

  • More than 155,000 hours of labour
  • 17,000m3 of ballast laid (the small stones that form the track bed)
  • More than 5km of new rail track
  • Installation of 16 complex track structures including turnouts, crossovers and scissors (these allow trains to move from one track to another)

For more information about Auckland rail improvement work over the Christmas shutdown: