Big push on Auckland rail replacement

22 January, 2021

Trains will not run on the Eastern line, between Britomart and Ōtāhuhu for the next two weeks as KiwiRail finishes work to replace worn rail on this important passenger and freight line.

Last year, the line was temporarily closed for four weeks while track was fixed between Ōrākei and Ōtāhuhu but this time the focus is on replacing rail and sleepers along the Hobson Bay causeway, says KiwiRail’s Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle.

KiwiRail teams are also continuing to work around the clock to replace rail on the Western line.

“We appreciate it’s frustrating for train users who are returning to work and still facing travel disruptions. We’ve been working hard this summer and have made good progress with the required work and are nearing the end of major disruptions.

“Closing the network over the Christmas holidays meant we were able to bring in a boosted workforce to fix rail through the critical inner parts of the network, as well as the Western and Southern lines. 

“Our teams are working 24/7 and are currently on track to finish rerailing work on the Western line by then end of this month, so that trains can return to the line in time for the start of the school year.

“So far we have replaced more than 100km of damaged rail which is 76% of the required re-railing work overall. At the same time, we’ve replaced close to 16,000 sleepers and destressed 80km of rail track.

“A full network closure is also scheduled for Auckland Anniversary weekend to allow track work to be carried out on all four train lines.

“KiwiRail remains focused on getting the rail work finished as quickly as possible and we are looking forward to a more reliable and resilient rail network for Auckland.

“We are grateful to the public for their ongoing patience as we continue our work. These temporary closures enable us to keep momentum and get the job done.”

The Eastern line will be closed to trains from Monday 25 January until Monday 8 February with Auckland Transport running bus replacements. During this period, freight trains will be rerouted through Newmarket.

The Western line will reopen to AT Metro services from Tuesday 2 February 2021.

For the latest information on closures visit

For more information about KiwiRail’s track repair work visit