Future Rail Tāmaki Makaurau
From upgrading foundations to building new stations, AT and our partners are working hard to make our rail network more efficient and reliable.
On this page
City Rail Link
The City Rail Link (CRL) is New Zealand’s largest transport infrastructure project ever. The twin 3.45-kilometre-long tunnels which have been built up to 42 metres below the Auckland city centre will connect downtown Auckland at Waitematā Station (Britomart) with a re-developed Maungawhau Station. This will transform our rail network.
- the entire rail network will be able to double in capacity and operate more efficiently through the removal of the dead-end terminal at Waitematā Station (Britomart)
- travel times will be improved for many trips and connections to other services will be improved
- more journey options, including a line running from the West towards the East, avoiding the city centre
- with trains running more often on most lines, especially during peak times, you'll be able to just turn up and go
- more people using trains will reduce traffic congestion on our roads
- at peak times the rail network will move the equivalent of three Auckland Harbour Bridges, or 16 extra traffic lanes into the city. That's a lot of cars off our roads.
Shorter travel times
Once the CRL is open, you’ll be able to travel from Waitematā Station (Britomart) to Maungawhau Station in under 10 minutes (about half the time it currently takes).
- Panmure to Karangahape Road in just 21 mins
- Ellerslie to Karangahape Road in 17 mins
- Glen Innes to Te Waihorotiu in 15 mins
- Henderson to Te Waihorotiu in 35 mins
Te Waihorotiu Station
This new 15m-deep 300m long underground station in midtown Auckland is expected to be the country’s busiest train station. It will have entrances on Victoria Street West and Wellesley Street West. It’s close to the city centre universities, Aotea Centre, the Auckland Town Hall, Q Theatre, Civic Theatre, SKYCITY, and the Auckland Art Gallery.
Karanga-a-Hape Station will be 33m deep with two entrances: one at Mercury Lane, the other in Beresford Square. Up to 1,400 people per hour are expected to access the Karangahape neighbourhood via the Karanga-a-Hape Station during peak times.
The former Mt Eden train platform is being enlarged and re-developed into a new station. The bigger station will cover both the existing Kingsland to Grafton line and the new Maungawhau to Karanga-a-Hape Station line.
Waitematā Station (Britomart)
After the Chief Post Office building was closed for four years, Waitematā Station (Britomart) re-opened on 6 April 2021. During that time, twin rail tunnels were created 14m beneath the historic Chief Post Office building. The bigger station will cover both the existing Kingsland to Grafton line and the new Maungawhau to Kuranga-a-Hape line.
Rail Network Rebuild
KiwiRail is doing a major upgrade of Auckland's aging rail network. This work will raise the standard of the entire rail network and is a key part of getting ready for more frequent trains when the City Rail Link opens.
Depending on the condition of the tracks, KiwiRail has to remove the rails and sleepers, excavate and replace the aging formation (the foundations up to a metre below the ground), install new drainage, and replace some ballast (the rocks that sit around the tracks), rails and sleepers.
Work is happening in stages. In Stage 1, KiwiRail upgraded the rail foundations on the Onehunga Line and the Southern Line between Ōtāhuhu and Newmarket. In Stage 2, to be completed in mid-January 2024, KiwiRail is upgrading rail foundations between Ōtāhuhu and Britomart. The remaining stages will be completed over the next three years. Bus services will be running whenever trains aren't available.
- more frequent services and quicker journey times
- trains will be more reliable with fewer unplanned disruptions
- there will be fewer shutdowns as KiwiRail and AT will work to introduce a proactive maintenance management of Auckland’s rail network.
The third main line
KiwiRail is building a third rail track alongside the two existing ones in the area around Puhinui Station. This will allow freight trains to operate independently from commuter trains.
Auckland’s rail network currently has two sets of tracks and operates like a two-lane road, with trains travelling in different directions on each track. The ‘third main’ is a third set of tracks that will act as a ‘passing lane’ for trains through what is the busiest part of Auckland’s (and New Zealand’s) rail network with 380 freight services and 1500 passenger services travelling through the area each week.
Once the third main line is built, trains will be able to ‘overtake’ each other, meaning commuter trains won’t get held up by slower freight trains. There will also be new track connections so trains can move from one rail line to another.
This work is underway and most will be completed ahead of the opening of the City Rail Link.
- improve the resilience, capacity and efficiency of the rail network
- ease congestion on the rail network
- provide faster train journeys and reduce delays
- will allow for anticipated growth in both freight and passenger train services.
We're on a mission to reduce our carbon footprint and turn our entire fleet of buses, trains and ferries electric.
Currently, all commuter trains in Auckland are electric and, once the Pukekohe to Papakura section is complete in 2025, there will be electric trains all the way to Pukekohe in south Auckland.
- electric trains are cleaner and better for the environment
- electric trains are significantly quieter, benefiting train users and residents
- they provide a more comfortable passenger experience.
Papakura to Pukekohe
Auckland’s southern district is the focus of two separate projects.
Firstly, KiwiRail is redeveloping Pukekohe Station and the rail line to allow AT’s electric trains to travel between Pukekohe and Papakura. This will remove the need to transfer between diesel and electric trains at Papakura.
Secondly, KiwiRail is developing three new stations between the existing Papakura and Pukekohe stations, which are expected to be completed by 2025. These new stations will be located at Drury, Ngākōroa and Paerātā.
Each station will contain a bus interchange, park and ride facilities as well as walking and cycling paths to connect with nearby residential areas. They will all have up to 350 parking spaces to cater for the expected demand.
- improved passenger and freight operations
- removes requirement to transfer trains at Papakura
- modern platform facilities and better customer experience
- improved transport connections to the south
- improved connection points for bus and train
- improved customer information and ticketing
- preservation of local rail heritage
- more platform space for trains and customers
- modern automated rail signaling system for improved safety.
Level crossing removal
A Level Crossing Removal Programme has been developed in close partnership with KiwiRail and Waka Kotahi to improve customer safety and support rail network growth in Auckland. This is a long-term programme to remove level crossings in phases over the next 10 to 30 years. The current focus is to investigate solutions for removing road level crossings and level crossings connected to train stations. Although AT is still in the early stages of addressing this project, work has already started to remove some level crossings before CRL opens to the public in 2026. This includes seven pedestrian-only level crossings across and one road level crossing at Church Street East in Penrose.