Industry Infrastructure, Infrastructure Projects, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Track Construction

Rebuild of busiest part of Western Line complete

Intensive work to rebuild the foundations of the busiest section of the Western Line in Auckland, allowing more reliable trains and helping prepare the network for City Rail Link, is substantially complete.

KiwiRail completed the majority of Stage 3a of the Rail Network Rebuild during an extended weekend of work following ANZAC Day, allowing trains to return to 10-minute frequencies at peak as planned on Monday 29 April. The work was carried out at more than 30 different sites between Newmarket and New Lynn.

Final upgrades at a small number of sites were finished during the weekend and essential track work, including de-stressing rails, is being completed overnight during coming weeks.

KiwiRail chief infrastructure officer Andre Lovatt says completion of this stage of the rail rebuild is another important step on the path to building a network that can support faster, more frequent and reliable trains for passengers and greater capacity for freight trains.

“We know this work has been disruptive for both passengers and our rail network neighbours, so we would like to thank them for their understanding as this vital work was carried out,” he said.

“To ensure the rail network is ready for City Rail Link a huge amount of new and upgraded infrastructure is required. Over three to four years KiwiRail is carrying out what would usually be 10 years of work – so there will be disruption on the way to unlocking the significant improvements City Rail Link will bring passengers.

“More than half of the Rail Network Rebuild is now complete. The sections of the Southern and Eastern lines that have been rebuilt have seen improved reliability and train speeds – they are the best performing on the Auckland rail network.

“Although there will continue to be rail closures and changes to services as other upgrades continue, Western Line passengers can expect to see some reliability improvements in the coming months as final track work is completed.”

The Rail Network Rebuild team is now upgrading drainage in the Papakura area, part of Stage 3b between Puhinui and Papakura. The next major stage of work, Stage 4 between Papakura and Pukekohe will begin on 19 May and continue until mid-January 2025.

The Papakura to Pukekohe section of Auckland’s network has been closed since September 2022, for the project to extend the overhead electricity from Papakura to Pukekohe. It was expected to open by the end of 2024 and now will now remain closed for a short while longer until after the summer block of line – reopening in January 2025.

The 394 bus service will continue to connect Pukekohe and Papakura stations at least until Southern Line trains start serving Pukekohe again.

More information about the improvement work is available at:

Auckland metro rail | KiwiRail