The New Zealand approved the resource consents for the main works on the electrification of the rail line between Papakura and Pukekohe, part of Auckland electrification programme.
An independent panel has approved the consents for KiwiRail’s electrification project in South Auckland under Covid-19 fast-track legislation.
The work includes masts, overhead wiring, signalling work and improving five level crossings along the 19 km route and the redevelopment of Pukekohe station. When finished the works will enable electric trains to run between Central Auckland and Pukekohe.
A funding of NZD 371 million (USD 259.6 million) for electrification was received as part of the Government’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme.
Main works on the electrification of Papakura – Pukekohe line will begin later this year. It is anticipated that the first electric train will run between Papakura and Pukekohe in 2024.
“This project will be hugely beneficial for Aucklanders, especially people who live in this growing part of the city. Passengers will be able to travel all the way to the city centre from Pukekohe without the need to change trains at Papakura. We are also taking the opportunity to do some improvements to the tracks at the same time. When completed, travel times will be reduced making travel by rail an even more attractive option for commuters and other passengers,” Acting Group Chief Executive of KiwiRail Todd Moyle said.
Under Auckland electrification, the rail network from Swanson to Papakura was completed in 2015 allowing for faster, quieter and cleaner commuter trains.
The projects are part of the Government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by investing in rail through the NZ Upgrade Programme.
KiwiRail’s Auckland Metro Programme is a more than NZD 1.5 billion (USD 1 billion) series of projects to modernise the rail network in New Zealand’s biggest city. In addition to the electrification, it includes three new train stations between Papakura and Pukekohe, a third main line to separate freight and passenger services as well as track improvements throughout the Auckland network.
This programme will maximise the benefits of the City Rail Link by improving capacity for freight and passenger services.