Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Operations and Maintenance, Passenger Rail, Track and Civil

Auckland’s Eastern Line stations reopen

eastern line stations


Following nine months of work upgrading the Auckland’s Eastern Line between Ōtāhuhu and Waitematā (Britomart), stations have reopened.

KiwiRail Chief Capital Planning and Asset Development Officer David Gordon says Stage 2 of the Rail Network Rebuild (RNR), which began on the Eastern Line on March 20, 2023, had been a huge undertaking.

“We’ve had around 130 people and contractors working on the line between Sylvia Park/Ōtāhuhu and Britomart, replacing the compacted rock foundations up to a metre below the track, improving drainage to make the line more resilient to weather, and replacing worn rail, sleepers and ballast,” he said.

“We appreciate the understanding and patience shown by passengers. This is the kind of work that needs to be done every 50-100 years, and it was long overdue.

“Not only is our RNR work making sure the line can safely handle the more frequent trains that will come when the City Rail Link begins operating, there will also be immediate benefits. Speed restrictions have now been removed from the line, and the many Eastern Line train users will experience a smoother ride and more reliable services.”

Auckland Transport Public Transport and Active Modes director Stacey van der Putten welcomed back customers from Sylvia Park, Panmure, Glen Innes, Meadowbank and Ōrākei stations along the Eastern Line.

“We’d like to thank those customers who have been affected by this work for their patience and flexibility over the past 10 months,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming them back onboard our trains in time for the busiest time of year on our public transport network in February and March when people return to work, school and university in large numbers.

“The return of our full Eastern Line services will also help to improve a wide range of public transport connections, such as our Airport Link service via Puhinui Station.

“We’d also like to thank KiwiRail for completing this huge piece of work on time. We’re an important step closer to being ready for more trains and better services when the City Rail Link opens.”

RNR is a major project to replace aging track foundations across the Auckland Metro Network, improve drainage in the rail corridor and make other improvements.

Features of Stage 2 on the Eastern Line:

  • 6932m of formation (the rock foundation below the track) has been excavated and replaced.
  • 19,110m of ballast (the larger rocks the tracks sit on) has been replaced.
  • 24,678m of drainage has been improved.
  • 1383m of rail and sleepers has been replaced.
  • Around 130 KiwiRail staff and contractors are working on RNR Stage 2.

KiwiRail is also progressing Stage 3a on the Western Line, between Newmarket and New Lynn.