Papakura to Pukekohe electrification

South Auckland, in particular Papakura through to Pukekohe, is expected to become home to an additional 120,000 people and provide another 38,000 jobs during the next three decades. We’re extending electrification from Papakura south to Pukekohe. Stations, signaling and level crossings are also being upgraded to make a safer and more resilient network. When finished this will enable electric trains to run between Central Auckland and Pukekohe.

Electrifying the network in this area will make enable people to travel around the region more easily on public transport. These works will allow for the expected future population growth. We are working closely with the Supporting Growth Alliance and key stakeholders to enable new future stations along the route and allow for additional lines.

Funding of $371 million for electrification was received as part of the Government’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

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Electrification will be extended from Papakura down to Pukekohe.

About the works

Currently rail passengers from south of Papakura must switch trains to get to and from the city. Electrifying this section means electric trains can travel through to Pukekohe, improving commuter services and enable capacity for growth.

To enable this we are undertaking three key changes on the network between Papakura and Pukekohe:

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

We are currently preparing the network to get it ready for the main construction works that will deliver these changes. 

Extending the overhead power system from Papakura to Pukekohe 

Masts carrying overhead wires to power the 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.
 

Upgrading tracks, signaling and level crossings 

New signaling will be installed to improve safety, resilience and ensure compatibility with the new overhead power system.

Level crossing safety will be improved along the route.

Track changes include layout improvements in key areas. They will allow for  more services and increase the flexibility of train movements 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 its redevelopment plans around Pukekohe Station. Works include:

  • New passenger facilities designed to complement the bus interchange and meet Auckland Metro’s rail standards.  
  • New overhead power masts and changing the track layout will allow freight and passenger trains to pass easily and safely through the station area.
  • A new platform set up enabling more and longer trains to stop. Initially platforms will serve six-car trains with an option to extend them to nine-car trains in the future.
  • Developing a new electric train stabling area.

As space at the station is limited the old Pukekohe Station building will need to be relocated. We have been working with the local community towards a practical solution that will see the building rehomed.

Pukekohe map horizontal

Completing electrification works 

Work to electrify the network between Papakura and Pukekohe is getting underway and will be rolled out in phases. KiwiRail has engaged eTRACS (a John Holland and McConnell-Dowell joint venture) and Siemens as its contractors to deliver this project.  Their teams aim to minimise any disruption to commuters and neighbours and will ensure clear signage is in place for any changes to station access or parking. Our contractors will complete as much work as possible while trains are running. 

Work will be rolled out at different times:

Preparatory work
  • Designing the new overhead power systems, station, signal and level crossing upgrades 
  • Planning construction to minimise impact and gaining consents 
  • Preparing the land for construction. This include ground investigations, clearing vegetation, building access tracks, moving services and installing signal ducting
Main construction
  • 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 to the rail 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


We are currently preparing the network to get it ready for main construction works to start.

 

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 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 at at.govt.nz

200A4921 track works

Much of electrification will be done when trains are still running however at times network upgrade works mean trains can not run, and buses replace services.

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. For the Supporting growth presentation visit 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 aucklandupgrade@kiwirail.co.nz. 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.

 

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