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KiwiRail acting chief executive Todd Moyle speaking at The Strand station celebration in early March

Auckland rail network prepares for City Rail Link

City Rail Link Ltd (CRLL) and KiwiRail have celebrated the completion of the first set of wider network improvements required to support Auckland’s transformational City Rail Link when it opens in 2024.


KiwiRail, on behalf of CRLL, has installed a new track crossover point and other upgrades in The Strand area of the Auckland network, one of the busiest sections of rail in the city. Over five months, KiwiRail installed the crossover and modified the track, overhead lines and signal equipment. The work was completed in intensive blocks, to reduce the impact on neighbours and commuters.

A new track layout was required to simplify access to The Strand stabling yard – the area where morning peak services are ‘stabled’ before they come back into service for the evening peak. Over 300 trains travel through this area daily.

“KiwiRail is proud to contribute to this transformational rail project for Auckland which will provide a much more reliable and resilient service for commuters,” KiwiRail acting chief executive Todd Moyle says. “Our purpose is to deliver stronger connections for a better New Zealand and this project will certainly do that.

“Once the City Rail Link is open and operating, more trains will travel in and out of the city more often. Wider network improvements are required to ensure the increased timetables can be achieved.”

The importance of collaboration

CRLL chief executive Sean Sweeney says The Strand is the first construction project to be completed from the huge programme of work for CRL, which will have a massive impact on the way Aucklanders travel around their city.

“Just as significantly, it is also the first collaborative piece of work undertaken by KiwiRail and CRLL. We look forward to continuing this relationship on network improvements at Otahuhu later this year.

“CRLL and KiwiRail have demonstrated how well we can work together on a project like this and the wider importance of collaboration as delivery of the City Rail Link starts to ramp up,” Dr Sweeney says.

CRLL is currently evaluating two bids to design and construct twin 3.45 km rail tunnels below Auckland’s CBD, two underground stations, the upgrade of a third station, and the installation of track and signalling, safety and communication systems.

The City Rail Link is the largest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand.

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