Auckland’s Eastern rail line reopened this morning

Following nine months of work upgrading the Auckland’s Eastern Line between Ōtāhuhu and Waitematā (Britomart), stations have reopened this morning.

 KiwiRail Chief Capital Planning and Asset Development Officer David Gordon says Stage 2 of the Rail Network Rebuild (RNR), which began on the Eastern Line on 20 March 2023, has been a huge undertaking.

 “We’ve had around 130 people and contractors working on the line between Sylvia Park/Ōtāhuhu and Britomart, replacing the compacted rock foundations up to a metre below the track, improving drainage to make the line more resilient to weather, and replacing worn rail, sleepers and ballast.

 “We appreciate the understanding and patience shown by passengers. This is the kind of work that needs to be done every 50 – 100 years, and it was long overdue.

“Not only is our RNR work making sure the line can safely handle the more frequent trains that will come when the City Rail Link begins operating, there will also be immediate benefits. Speed restrictions have now been removed from the line, and the many Eastern Line train users will experience a smoother ride and more reliable services.”

 AT Director Public Transport and Active Modes Stacey van der Putten says it was great to welcome back customers from Sylvia Park, Panmure, Glen Innes, Meadowbank and Ōrākei stations this morning.

 “We’d like to thank those Eastern Line customers who have been affected by this work for their patience and flexibility over the past ten months.

 “We’re looking forward to welcoming them back onboard our trains in time for the busiest time of year on our public transport network in February and March when people return to work, school and university in large numbers.

 “The return of our full Eastern Line services will also help to improve a wide range of public transport connections, such as our Airport Link service via Puhinui Station.

 “We’d also like to thank KiwiRail for completing this huge piece of work on time. We’re an important step closer to being ready for more trains and better services when the City Rail Link opens.”

 Because of CRL work at Waitematā (Britomart) Station, Eastern Line services this week will run between Manukau and The Strand. Customers will be able to use public buses and rail replacement buses to travel between The Strand and Waitematā. Wayfinding will be in place for customers who choose to walk, cycle or scooter between stations. Services will resume travelling to Waitematā on 22 January.

 RNR is a major project to replace aging track foundations across the Auckland Metro Network, improve drainage in the rail corridor and make other improvements.

 Work for Stage 2 on the Eastern Line has included:

  • 6,932 metres of formation (the rock foundation below the track) has been excavated and replaced.
  • 19,110 metres of ballast (the larger rocks the tracks sit on) has been replaced.
  • 24,678 metres of drainage has been improved.
  • 1,383 metres of rail and sleepers has been replaced.
  • Around 130 KiwiRail staff and contractors are working on RNR Stage 2.

 KiwiRail is also progressing Stage 3a on the Western Line, between Newmarket and New Lynn.

 Following strong patronage, customers AT has made the decision to retain the additional 74 and 76 bus services put on in response to RNR Stage 2. These services are now being funded by Auckland Council’s Climate Action Targeted Rate.

 More information about progress on the Rail Network Rebuild is available at: