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Auckland Metro Rail Programme

Aucklanders and visitors make more than 21 million commuter rail journeys on the network in Auckland each year. The network also carries freight traffic that supports national freight supply chains, including to and from the country’s two biggest ports (Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga).

KiwiRail and Auckland Transport are working with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to improve passenger and inter-regional freight services.

We are working to build a network that is resilient and easily maintained, allows for more reliable passenger and freight services, and future-proofs Auckland for further demand. 

The Government has provided funding of almost $1 billion for a suite of projects to support growth. These upgrades will ease congestion on the busiest parts of the network between central Auckland and Wiri, extend the electrified rail network from Papakura to Pukekohe, add new stations at Drury, and bring the overall network up to a modern standard.


KiwiRail's current project activities on the Auckland Metro network include:

  • Wiri to Quay Park
  • Papakura to Pukekohe
  • Supporting the City Rail Link.


Pukekohe trains FB size from AT

Wiri to Quay Park ‘Third Main’

These works are designed to ease congestion on the busiest parts of Auckland’s (and New Zealand’s) rail network. This upgrade will allow for anticipated growth in both freight and commuter traffic, improve links to key freight hubs and provide additional capacity for the City Rail Link and the commuter service being developed from Hamilton to Auckland.

These improvements will avoid an estimated 175,000 annual freight movements on the state highway network.

Work is expected to begin at the end of 2020 and will be divided into four areas outlined below. The $315 million funding package for these works was announced as part of the Government's New Zealand Upgrade Programme. 

—Quay Park: Enhance the Ports of Auckland freight yard access to the mainline by providing a dedicated arrival and departure access track

—Westfield Junction: Provide an offline waiting area for freight trains which will improve freight access in the Westfield Yard from Ports of Auckland

—Middlemore to Wiri: Provide an additional track on the mainline which will allow for more frequent passenger and freight services

—Wiri Junction: Improve the junctions between the Manukau Line, Wiri Port, Wiri Yard, and North Island Main Trunk (NIMT).

MAP Wiri to Quay Park Third Main

Papakura to Pukekohe Electrification

Pukekohe map v2

Electrification of Auckland's rail network is being extended to Pukekohe


South Auckland, and particularly 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.

At the moment, only diesel trains (or DMUs) can operate on the line section between Papakura and Pukekohe, so passengers from south of Papakura must switch trains to get to and from the city.

Electrification of this section of the line enables electric trains (EMUs) to travel through to Pukekohe. This will improve commuter services between Pukekohe and the rest of Auckland, enabling capacity for growth.

The project - which is expected to begin at the end of 2020 - includes electrification of the 19km of track, an additional two platforms at Pukekohe station and future proofing for additional lines. The $371 million funding package was announced as part of the Government's New Zealand Upgrade Programme. 

Supporting City Rail Link

The City Rail Link (CRL) is New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project and will provide a better connection between the West and central city. KiwiRail is working closely with CRL and Auckland Transport to ensure successful delivery. 

As the rail network owner we are working to ensure that the new infrastructure will be fit for purpose. To do this KiwiRail is providing technical support and also drawing on our knowledge and skills to facilitate construction on the live network.

For more information on the CRL project visit their website here.


Working around the clock, KiwiRail and its contractors connected one of the largest crossings on the metro network which will enable trains to keep running while major construction for the CRL continues next to the tracks.

Rail Network Growth Impact Management

This project involves bringing the existing Auckland Network up to a level that will allow it to more robustly handle the growth that will come post CRL. It has three main strands

1.   Updating the codes and standards to increase the minimum levels of performance – ie make them stricter

2.   Invest in plant and changes to how we work in order to meet those codes on a network which will have fewer opportunities to do maintenance

3.   Undertake a major package of work between now and CRL opening to deal with known current and potential future vulnerabilities. The bulk of the investment is going to this strand


We expect NZTA to confirm this $180m  investment at its March/April 2020 meeting.

Additional Substation

The Auckland Metro network will need at least one more substation to cope with the demand placed on it from additional trains and operation of the City Rail Link.

We are currently writing the application to use the Transitional Rail Funds for this project.

Integrated Control Centre

All parties involved in delivering the metro rail services in Auckland see merit in having an Integrated Control Centre where we can coordinate on the day responses to activity on the network.

The model would see the operator (Transdev), Train and Traction Control (KiwiRail), Maintenance response (KiwiRail, AT) and Train Performance (CAF) having the key operating decision-makers in the one space.

We are currently writing the application to use the Transitional Rail Funds for this project.

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Being good neighbours

We’re mindful of how work affects our neighbours and we strive to finish projects as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We always try to do as much of the work during weekday hours as possible. At times work is required when trains are not running (at night or during weekends and on public holidays) this allows us to reduce the amount of overall disruption.

You can find out more information on living near the rail corridor here