No trains over Easter while KiwiRail improves network

13 April 2022

No trains will run on the Auckland network over Easter, 15-18 April, as KiwiRail uses the holiday weekend to continue important network upgrades.

“KiwiRail is raising the standard of the Auckland rail network with big projects ahead of City Rail Link (CRL) opening in late 2024, as well as ongoing works to improve the resilience and reliability of train services,” says KiwiRail Acting Chief Executive David Gordon.  

“We’ll be working around the clock over Easter to achieve as much as possible, as safely as possible. We understand the closure may cause some inconvenience and thank Aucklanders for their understanding. Our projects would take years longer to complete without the ability to use public holiday weekends to push ahead with our works.”

“Additionally, from mid-August this year until the second quarter of 2024, passenger rail services between Papakura and Pukekohe will be replaced with a bus service while that section of line is electrified. When it’s finished, electric trains will be able to run all the way to Pukekohe.” 

“While improvements are being worked on across the network, including CRL works at Mt Eden, KiwiRail’s key activity during Easter will be installing and commissioning signals for new rail track arrangements at Westfield Junction.”

“This is the first step in relieving congestion through this busy part of the network by providing better separation between the 1860 commuter services and 220 freight services each week that travel through this area.”

“To illustrate this complexity – the new signal system will control the safe movements of trains through about 245 potential routes from north of Westfield to Otahuhu.”

“There are so many unique routes as trains are coming and going from various tracks via KiwiRail’s Southdown and Westfield yards as well as the Eastern line and the Southern line.”

Southdown Yard is where freight enters or exits the road network and Westfield Yard is where train wagons are reordered before continuing the journey to the South or North. 

Freight services to and from Auckland have increased over the past few years and further increases are expected. Once the City Rail Link opens there will be additional metro services running through here as well.

KiwiRail is working on a $1.5 billion suite of projects to enable a world-class rail service for Auckland’s passenger trains, as well as an increased freight capacity which will make a big contribution to reducing carbon emissions in Auckland’s transport sector.

The projects include general track maintenance work, a new substation as well as the three New Zealand Upgrade-funded projects - the new third main track, the Papakura to Pukekohe electrification and three new train stations between Papakura and Pukekohe.

For more information about bus replacements, please see: AT.govt.nz/railclosures

For more information about Auckland rail improvement work over the Easter shutdown Auckland Metro Rail Programme | KiwiRail