Auckland Train Electrification Contract Goes To NZ /Aust Consortium


Auckland’s $1b rail electrification contract has been awarded to a consortium of New Zealand’s Hawkins Infrastructure – which has just finished building Newmarket Station – and Australia’s Laing O’Rourke.

They will build the masts, portals and wires under the $80m contract.

About 3,500 masts and portals will be erected around the Auckland rail network to carry the overhead wires.

We’ll start to see some of these masts and wires in the third quarter of this year.

Announcing the details a short time ago, just prior to the opening of the new Newmarket station, KiwiRail’s CEO Jim Quinn called this the project’s exciting phase, “as the masts and portals will be the first visual sign of electrification.”

He revealed that there will be six different types of masts and portals covering 80 km of rail corridor from Papakura to Swanson, including the Onehunga and Manukau branch lines.

Work will be carried out in phases starting at Otahuhu and heading north to Britomart.

The system will be powered from the national grid at Penrose and Southdown. Both will be independent and will on their own be able to provide enough power to run the entire system.

Mr Quinn says there will also be six substations around the rail network, and the power needed to run the trains will be less than 1% of Auckland’s current capacity.

Mr Quinn said that the resignalling of Auckland’s metro network – another major component of the electrification – is already underway. That $90m contract was let earlier this year to Westinghouse Rail Systems.

Newmarket Station, being opened shortly by the transport minister , Steven Joyce, has been designed for electrification. It has new signalling immunised, and the overhead structures have already been installed in preparation for the masts and wires.

Mr Quinn gave an assurance that with the news today of the consortium winning the tender, the work will be completed in 2013 in time for the first delivery of new electric trains

How Swanson may look with the electric wires | Kiwirail image




  1. Max Robitzsch says:

    Fi-na-lly. We can breathe easy for a while.

  2. Matt L says:

    Anywhere we can see the 6 pole designs that will appear across the network?

  3. Steve W says:

    I believe this company to be very capable and are obviously good communicators, as this “announcement” has been up on their website for days!

  4. Max Robitzsch says:

    “Anywhere we can see the 6 pole designs that will appear across the network?”

    Lol, only us train nerds would care, so I doubt they will be having an “art gallery” ;-)

  5. jarbury says:

    This is very good news as it means electrification is DEFINITELY HAPPENING!


  6. Matt L says:

    @Max - I sure they will do the job well but I can’t see why we can’t put a bit of artistic flair into them. We are only going to get one chance to do this so why not make it look good at the same time

  7. Max Robitzsch says:

    I would expect the poles are already specified, and therefore not changeable anymore. If there isn’t any art in them now, there won’t be in practice.

  8. George Darroch says:

    $80 million. Wow. That sounds cheap, compared to the cost of other projects…


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