Developing Auckland's Rail Transport

Auckland's rail network is being upgraded to enable more frequent and reliable commuter services and to prepare for electrification.

Transforming Auckland’s rail network

Auckland's rail network is being upgraded to enable more frequent and reliable commuter services and to prepare for electrification. 

Kiwirail has been working with Auckland Transport to transform Auckland’s rail network. Project DART aims to improve the capacity, reliability and reach of Auckland's rail network. It is now largely completed to a budget of $600 million.

Key components include:

  • Duplication of the western line from Newmarket to Swanson
  • Improvements to Newmarket Station and junction
  • Improved signalling to allow for increased rail services
  • Improved rail links to Manukau City.


Dart 1 - Newmarket Station

The Newmarket Rail Station upgrade is a high profile complex project involving numerous stakeholders,  very constrained urban environment with limited access and very tight demand on budget and programming.  

This project had a tight budget and timing demands and a need to ensure uninterrupted train services. It was driven by the triple tracking of this section to allow direct through-routing of trains. It is the second busiest rail node in New Zealand.  Our Rail and architecture experts provided architectural, structural, building and design engineering services. The project included two footbridges and a replacement road bridge. The light and airy concourse is the focal space of the station. Newmarket Station received an NZIA Architecture Award.


Dart 2 - Grafton Station

The Grafton Station has undergone a major upgrade. Double tracking in the rail corridor for the DART 2 project (also designed by Opus) preceded the station development. The new station is located 6.5m below street level and situated on a busy corner site between two major arterials and on the Central Connector bus route. A temporary station was constructed further up the line for use during the upgrade.

The Grafton upgrade itself is influenced by the different property types that surround the area. The station is in the close proximity of Auckland Hospital, the Auckland Domain, Schools, very large mixed-use developments and large commercial properties make for an interesting stakeholder mix. The station itself has its major entrance off Park Road and three secondary entrances. A future connection has been designed to the major redevelopment of a prominent former brewery site that is adjacent to the station.


Dart 9 – Manukau Rail Link

The Manukau Rail Station provides a new rail link from the North Island Main Trunk rail line to the Manukau City Centre in South Auckland. It will provide a direct rail link to the Auckland CBD.  As with Grafton, we worked on the station’s preliminary design and detailed design and technical support during construction. The project won the Concrete Construction Award from NZCS.