About $1 billion is being invested in rail in the Auckland area to improve passenger and inter-regional freight services.
The NZ Upgrade Programme will provide funding for three projects that support growth – the extension of the electrified rail network from Papakura to Pukekohe, two new stations at Drury and a third line between Wiri and Quay Park (central Auckland).
South Auckland is expected to be home to an additional 120,000 people and provide another 38,000 jobs during the next three decades.
The Wiri to Quay Park project will provide an additional 5.2km of track to remove the bottleneck along this section of the North Island Main Truck Line which is currently used by passenger services and interregional freight services. It will also provide additional capacity for the new City Rail Link and the new commuter service being developed from Hamilton to Auckland.
The $315 million project will improve the reliability of services by enabling increased frequency and providing better access across the rail network. 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.
A $371 million investment to extend the electrified rail network will help support planned growth in South Auckland and mean passengers will no longer have to change trains to travel south to Pukekohe. Increased passenger capacity, greater travel time reliability and providing a direct service from Pukekohe through to the city centre will help boost customer service levels and position rail as a real travel choice for those living or working in the area. The project – which is expected to begin at the end of 2020 – includes electrification of 19km of track, an additional two platforms at Pukekohe station and future proofing for additional lines.
At Drury, $247 million will fund two new railway stations, park and ride facilities as well as a bus and rail interchange to make it easier for residents in the south to travel by public transport. Combined with the extension of the electrified rail network, this project will support making travel by train more accessible and appealing to those living and/or working in the area. Work is expected to begin in 2023.