Work pushes ahead for new ‘third main’

4 March 2021

Buses will replace trains between Ōtāhuhu and Manukau on the Eastern line, and between Ōtāhuhu and Papakura on the Southern line, from this Friday through to Sunday night as KiwiRail carries out essential work to upgrade the rail line near Wiri Junction.

KiwiRail’s Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle says KiwiRail will be focused on critical work required to enable the construction of the third main through the busy Wiri Junction.

“At short notice we have scheduled the work for the end of this week while Auckland is in Alert Level 3 and train passenger numbers are lower, with people working from home where possible.

“Our teams will be making the most of this window and will be working around the clock, with measures in place to ensure Level 3 health and safety requirements are met.

“Over the three days we will be lifting out almost 100m of track just north of Wiri and building up the track foundation before installing new ballast and track.

“This piece of work is critical because it is part of a section of track that needs to be built up to equal height with the Southern line in order for a new track crossover to be installed.

“We are preparing to construct an additional track through this area, and we are improving junctions between the Manukau Line, Port of Auckland Inland Port, Auckland Transport’s electric multiple unit (EMU) Depot, and the Southern line.

“We apologise for the disruption to some train users on the Eastern and Southern line and we thank people for their patience while we begin work that will bring immense benefits to Auckland’s rail network.”

Preparatory work to build a third rail line to separate out freight from passenger trains began in late 2020 and will happen in several locations around Auckland’s metro network between Ports of Auckland and Wiri Junction.

The works will improve services for passengers and freight customers by easing congestion on the busiest parts of Auckland’s rail network and stop long freight trains delaying faster commuter service. It will also provide additional capacity for when the City Rail Link opens.

Buses will replace trains between Ōtāhuhu and Manukau on the Eastern line and Ōtāhuhu and Papakura on the Southern line from the first service on Friday 5 March to end of service Sunday 7 March 2021.

For the latest information on closures and rail replacement buses visit

For more information about KiwiRail’s work to build the third main visit: