First Train To Wiri Port Tonight


The Wiri inland port link comes into service at 1am tomorrow when the first train from the Port of Auckland arrives.

Initially KiwiRail will run four services of 23 wagons a week in each direction between Wiri and the Auckland seaport.

Construction of the rail exchange, which began last June 2009, was undertaken by KiwiRail and Brian Perry Civil.

The job included three rail sidings, 2,000m of rail track and a hardstand about the size of the Britomart station.

The format means two trains can be worked simultaneously with a third track available for repositioning locomotives.

The rail exchange, which has been jointly funded by KiwiRail and Ports of Auckland, will be formally opened at a ceremony in March.

Ports of Auckland has been operating the 10ha Wiri site as an inland port for six years, using a truck-based shuttle service to link it with the Waitemata seaport.

The rail link will be good for the environment

Ports of Auckland Managing Director Jens Madsen said it means exporters and importers will be able to drop off and pick up containers without having to negotiate the Auckland motorways.

There were also big potential benefits for the community through reduced road congestion, with the rail link forecast to eventually save up to 2.5 million truck kilometres per year – the equivalent of 100,000 central city truck trips.

Mr. Madsen said carbon emission modelling by Ports of Auckland had shown big potential savings for businesses close to the Wiri Inland Port.

“A lot of our current customers are based within eight kilometres of the inland port. By using the rail link to the seaport, this group will be able to reduce the carbon emissions of transporting their containers by up to 25%,” he said.

KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn said the Wiri Inland Port rail link was a natural addition to the rail network given its proximity to the North Island main trunk line.

“It’s logical to connect more export industries to major ports to take advantage of rail’s natural strength in moving heavy goods efficiently,” said Mr Quinn.

“The Wiri link is an example of an initiative to provide the efficiencies our customers are seeking in moving their goods. We are pleased to be able to provide the infrastructure for industries and regions to realize their full potential.”




  1. George Darroch says:

    We need more of this kind of thing. Not more motorways, for goodness sake!

    So incredibly cheap in comparison to building motorways, and with huge advantages.

    Why can’t we have more intelligence in transport planning?

  2. Matt L says:

    George I agree, this thing makes so much sense on so many levels you have to wonder why it wasn’t done before. The question is will we really see a reduction in trucks going through the city or will they just find a new reason to drive them through. With this open perhaps the council could put restrictions on them so they stop thundering along Quay St.

  3. Ingolfson says:

    The reduction initially will be pretty minimal, I guess.

    I also wonder if this will provide any benefit for the shipping companies themselves - after all, even if held up an hour or two in busy traffic, a container that does NOT go via the inland port will be at / from the port quicker. After all, with the train, you have to reload it twice, and then wait for the train to go.

    Not dissing it - it has benefits for the city, sure. But will it catch on? Not convinced. For that,it would either have to be mandatory to pick up your container in Wiri, or SO congested you couldn’t get to the port - or cheaper. Can’t see how any of the three will happen, sadly.

  4. curtissd says:

    Where ever the top destinations of these containers go tracks should go all the way there.

  5. Geoff says:

    When the south triangle link on the Manukau Branch is built (as it one day will), these brand new port sidings will need to be ripped up, as they are built across the proposed route.

  6. Brent C says:

    Are their any plans to use electric locos for the service in the future? It would be awesome but I know there aren’t too many around at the moment

  7. mark says:

    Brent C - that would make it pretty hard to unload the containers off the wagons with those electric cables running overhead :P


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