Bringing electric trains to Pukekohe

Auckland’s metro rail network was electrified from Swanson to Papakura in 2015. Electrification is now being extended beyond Papakura to Pukekohe. This means people travelling from Pukekohe will no longer need to switch trains at Papakura and will enjoy faster, quieter and cleaner journeys in modern electric trains.
By encouraging people to use public transport rather than private vehicles, electrifying more of the network will also reduce carbon emissions.

The three new train stations between Papakura and Pukekohe will also provide greater travel choice for those currently living and working in the area, and allow for the expected population growth. An additional 100,000 people are projected to live in the surrounding area over the next 30 years.

This project also includes redeveloping Pukekohe Station and improvements to signals, the rail tracks and level crossings along this 19km section of the Southern line.

The Government’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme has granted $371 million to fund the electrification.

AEP 200611

Electrification will be extended from Papakura down to Pukekohe.

Current status

Enabling works commenced in late 2020 and have included clearing vegetation, improving access to work sites, underground testing and improvements to the rail tracks.

Planning approvals for the major works were considered under the fast-track legislation. All consents for the major works were approved in August 2021. There has been significant engagement with the local community, stakeholders and iwi which will continue throughout the phases of works.

The project in detail

There will be three key changes on the network between Papakura and Pukekohe:

  1. Extending the overhead power system from Papakura to Pukekohe
  2. Upgrading existing track, signals and level crossings
  3. Redeveloping Pukekohe Station.

Extending the overhead power system from Papakura to Pukekohe 

Masts carrying overhead wires to power electric trains will be built alongside the tracks on existing rail land. These will be very similar to those already in place north of Papakura.

Masts will be built 40-50m apart along the route.

Redeveloping Pukekohe Station

Introducing electric trains to Pukekohe will mean more services and longer trains. KiwiRail is working closely with Auckland Transport to build a modern public transport interchange and support Auckland Transport’s redevelopment plans around Pukekohe Station.

Works will include:

  • A new platform layout to accommodate longer trains. Initially platforms will serve six-car trains with an option to extend them to nine-car trains in the future
  • Removing the existing station building and building modern passenger facilities to complement the bus interchange
  • Installing new overhead power masts and changing the track layout for trains to pass easily and safely through the station area
  • Building new electric train stabling
Pukekohe map horizontal

Completing electrification works

Work to electrify the network between Papakura and Pukekohe is underway and will progress in phases. KiwiRail is making every effort to minimise disruption to train users and neighbours.

Any changes to station access or parking will be advertised through clear signage. Much of this work can only be carried out while the track is closed, and Auckland Transport will operate bus replacements at these times. The schedule is yet to be confirmed. 

Work will be rolled out progressively over the coming years:

Preparatory work  
  • Designing the new overhead power systems, station, signal and level crossing upgrades
  • Planning construction to minimise impact to neighbours and train users and gaining consents
  • Preparing the land for construction. This includes ground investigations, clearing vegetation, building access tracks, moving services and installing signal ducting.
Major works 
  • Building foundations and installing masts
  • Installing new track
  • Upgrading safety at level crossings
  • Working at stations and along the track to future-proof the network
  • Connecting the new overhead power system to the existing electrified network
  • Installing overhead wires and testing the new systems
  • Running a public safety campaign to help keep the local community and road users safe following the changes
Paerata 6 enabling works

Keeping commuters moving

When trains are unable to run bus replacements will be provided.

We work closely with Auckland Transport to identify quieter travel times when we can close the rail network to allow us to complete preparatory work safely.  Off-peak times include evenings and weekends. We also take advantage of long weekends and holidays e.g. over Christmas/New Year when we plan a very busy schedule to get as much work done as possible. This can mean working 24/7 to get the job done. During these times buses replace trains - find out more on Auckland Transport's website

200A4921 track works

Bus replacements will replace the ageing Papakura – Pukekohe diesel trains that are retiring in August 2022. These will continue until electric trains can run on the track.

Keeping in touch with our neighbours 

We understand our work is likely to cause some disturbance for people living and working along the rail corridor. We will work to both minimise impacts and give our neighbours notice of works so they can plan around them. The machinery we use can create noise, vibration and dust. At times we use lights for safety, these are visible during night work.

When we have major works near you we will:

  • Share our plans and progress
  • Ensure you can reach us with your questions
  • Work during the day whenever possible
  • Work as quickly and quietly as we can

In early 2021 KiwiRail, Supporting Growth and Auckland Transport held on-line and drop in sessions to share our plans for extending electric train service and planned new stations. A video of KiwiRail's session can be watched here: KiwiRail's presentation and an overview of questions and answers are available here. 

Got a query about rail construction in your area?

We will work to keep disturbance to a minimum and appreciate your patience as we carry out this work.

Upgrading the rail network is a challenging project. It is important we keep our work crew, neighbours and rail users safe during construction. We do as much as possible without disrupting rail services, but some work can only be done when no trains are running. We aim to find a balance that minimises overall disruption for rail customers and our neighbours.

Please contact us on 0800 801 070 (after hours extn 43042) or email us at To receive future work notifications by email, please contact us with your contact details (including your physical address) or regularly visit our current work sites page.