Wiri Rail Link Officially Opened


The Wiri to Waitemata seaport rail link was officially opened today, with KiwiRail chair Jim Bolger saying that the new rail exchange had the potential to create some fundamental changes to the landscape of Auckland’s transport patterns.

“Our strengths in long haul are readily portrayed by activities out on the wider network, as demonstrated by the fact that we move a third of New Zealand’s export goods.  Here we have an effective solution over a short distance that provides a viable proposition for our customers.

“Short-haul shuttle services that relieve pressure on congested urban roads are increasingly becoming part of the way we do business.  We have other successful initiatives underway here in Auckland and in urban centres elsewhere around the country.”

Ports of Auckland Managing Director Jens Madsen, told the gathering that the new rail link to and from the Wiri Freight Hub brings the seaport right to the doorstep of businesses in South Auckland and represents a new era.

“It will offer greater efficiencies and flexibility for exporters and importers who are able to drop off and pick up containers without having to negotiate the Auckland motorways,” Mr Madsen said.

“By using the Wiri Freight Hub as a staging post, it will free up room at the Waitemata seaport which is good news also for the whole supply chain as it helps position Ports of Auckland for future growth.”

Containers are now able to be moved to and from the seaport by rail, saving as many as 100,000 central city truck trips per annum when functioning to capacity.

The first night train arrived on Feb 3 at Wiri

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 10 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 40%, and on average by 25%,” he said.


  • The Wiri Freight Hub is managed by CONLINXX, a joint venture between Ports of Auckland (70% owner) and NZL Group (30% owner).
  • It has been established as a container logistics business tasked with delivering increased value through rail transport between Wiri and the sea port, efficient and secure container storage and handling processes 24/7, track and trace facilities and improved information systems and technology.
  • The Wiri Freight Hub is strategically located off Wiri Station Road in South Auckland, close to Auckland International Airport, and adjacent to SH1 and SH20.
  • Brian Perry Civil and KiwiRail undertook the works, including the construction of the three rail sidings, involving around 2,000m of additional rail track, and the hardstand.
  • Each of the three sidings is capable of taking 22 wagons.  When fully operational, they enable two trains to be worked simultaneously, with the third track available for repositioning locomotives.
  • The hardstand from which the containers will be loaded and unloaded involved 15 major concrete pours.
  • It is 450 metres long and cover nearly 11,000 square metres, just shy of the overall size of the Britomart Transport Centre station platform.




  1. Christopher says:

    Does anyone know when the actual thing opens and containers start to be transferred by rail?? Or is this just a mirage?

  2. Jon C says:

    @Christopher Today was just the official opening ceremny. The first train rolled through back on Feb 3 see photo at http://www.aktnz.co.nz/2010/02/03/first-train-arrives-at-wiri-port-photo/

  3. John Dalley says:

    Will they electrify this track to use electric trans in future?

  4. bob says:

    Nice to see the inland port finally open; shame Manukau City Council and Ontrack and Ports of Auckland spent 15 years quibbling over the cost, and delaying it.

    I second John Dalley’s question - are Kiwirail planning to electrify sidings, which makes sense and improves flexibility?

    Different point - sadly, the hardstand and sidings were built hard up against the NIMT lines - any future expansion of sidings will have to destroy the brand new hardstand and build a replacement slightly further east. Gah.

    And by building the hardstand & sidings right up against NIMT, they effectively have shut out the Manukau-Homai spur line that has just had it’s embankment formed (though ARTA/Veolia plan running Manukau-Puhinui). Pushing the hardstand back closer to the container storage area would have allowed both. This is abysmal planning, as Manukau-Homai is far more viable than Manukau-Puhinui (which is being merged with East service to hide it’s unviability). Thoughts?

  5. mark says:

    Regarding electrifying the sidings - this would not work as the electric lines run overhead. The wagons are loaded and unloaded using a reach stacker which lowers the containers from an overhead position. The wires would get in the way of this.

  6. max says:

    Surely there’s reasonable ways around that. There’s electrified freight trains world over, or aren’t there?

  7. mark says:

    I’m guessing they could run a 3rd electrified rail along the sidings and base a special loco at the inland port?

  8. Luke says:

    Electrified trains can still work the line, you would just need shunt loco based a Wiri. Much easier than electrifying the sidings.
    I dont think you’ll find many containers yards with overhead wires, just too dangerous.


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