Manukau Train Station Delayed


The new Manukau rail line, due to open in July, has been delayed.

It will now not open until February next year.

The opening of the new line will coincide with the introduction of a network wide timetable change which includes six trains an hour at peak time on the Western Line.

From photos published recently on AKT it was obvious work at the station may not meet the July deadline.
Auckland Transport gave this explanation today for the delay:

Preparation for RWC 2011 includes the development of a further infrastructural upgrade of a track cross-over which includes associated signalling at Morningside Station to reduce risk and enhance the resilience of RWC rail services.

In line with the completion of additional work around the network, the timeline for opening Manukau train station has been amended by Auckland Transport to be integrated with electrification of the rail line prior to new electric trains being bought into service.

Tracks have started to be laid alongside the motorway in preparation.


Tracks are being laid

Auckland Transport says driver training for the opening of the new branch line will take place shortly after RWC 2011 and prior to the annual rail network Christmas shutdown. The closure allows for additional infrastructure and signalling resilience to be built into the network over Christmas/ New Year 2012.

Auckland Transport said today, it was adding robustness to the rail network to prepare for electrification and the arrival of the region’s first EMU’s with its partner KiwiRail. Additional preparatory work was also being undertaken as the countdown began for RWC 2011.

Electrification activities include the wider network completion of signalling works by KiwiRail and the development of a depot for EMU’s (Electric Multiple Units).

Preparation for RWC 2011 includes the development of a further infrastructural upgrade of a track cross-over which includes associated signalling at Morningside Station to reduce risk and enhance the resilience of RWC rail services.





  1. malcolm says:

    Funny how under National, most road projects seem to open well ahead of schedule, yet most rail projects suffer delay after delay. Funny that.

  2. William M says:

    Knew it all along. It’d be too much to ask of Veolia and Kiwirail to train 200+ staff in Manukau working in time for July and have them working RWC too. Too much could have gone wrong for Auckland and NZ. A safe decision, and a smart one.

  3. Carl says:

    annual rail shut down? all I can say is WTF is that all about?

    since when does PT just decide to ‘shut down”.

    Id dear hope in the future when the first stage of the wiring and the new trains arrive that a stupid idea like that is never seen again.

    If its delayed, fine, but make sure its not delayed any further.

  4. max says:

    Carl, it is not a stupid idea, it is a necessity.

    Without longer-term network closures, the works would be more dangerous, slower, and more costly. So closing it during the time of the lowest patronage is a smart thing to do in the circumstances.

    Don’t slap Auckland Transport and KiwiRail staff today for decisions taken by politicians many years and decades ago (i.e. run down the system until it is barely working). They don’t deserve such rude and aggrieved responses.

  5. Joshua says:

    malcolm - Weather has been good, which has allowed these projects to gain ahead, however remember the same contractors whom are carrying out the bulk of these works were also late with the opening of the Manukau Extension Motorway Project linking SH20 to SH1.

    Also not many local roading projects have opened on time at all. The competing environment and weather has helped so many projects get ahead of their timelines, including the Northern Busway opening early and the Newlynn Rail Station open ahead. It works on both sides, and I think KiwiRail have done a good job considering the relative inexperience compared to NZTA.

    This has nothing to do with the Government, but the amount of work each receives does.

  6. Carl says:

    max - not slapping anyone, I just said the idea of it something I have never heard of before and its hardly rude.

    Rail systems do shut down and do “do” night works, but I have never seen or heard of anything like that.

    It’s more what I meant and I hope in the future, it doesn’t have to happen.

    but then again, its all a good 30 years behind anything that is semi decent in any other developed country.

    regardless of who’s fault it is.

  7. max says:

    Carl, calling out “wtf” and saying “stupid idea!” will not sound very polite to those managers and planners who are scheduling the works over the summer closures - the works which will make sure that our system CAN actually compete with the public transport of other “semi decent” cities.

    So yes, I think you were being rude, and dismissive of the practice - which I consider very much needed, otherwise we could forget the coming changes until some years down the line - in fact, we wouldn’t even have finished double-tracking the western line!

    Ripping into workers and manager who DO something is so easy (just look at the cheap way Mike Lee tried to score some political points recently by laying into AT over the Quay Street works - one of his real low points).

    We should be ripping into politicians and managers who DON’T do stuff, like our current government, which is dooming us to a further decade of petrol dependency, instead of improving our public transport systems with even a smidgin of the urgency that is needed.

  8. Giel says:

    The delay in opening is disappointing to many I suspect but hardly surprising.

    Max - understand what you are saying and agree that with major rebuild occasional total Network shutdowns are the best way for now. But total Network shutdowns should and must diminish and long term are simply unacceptable once the Network reaches a certain point of maturity - which I suspect will be post electrification in 2013. By then the populace will not allow that to happen. The NZ Herald editorial of December last year made that clear and they are right long term - just a premature call for now as you rightly point out. Staged shutdowns are fine - that happens in most parts of the world and will for the foreseeable future. A trip to Sydney or Melbourne will confirm that most weekends at least some line is closed somewhere for continual upgrades and maintenance. As time passes though KiwiRail will have to be more efficient and effective as Network closures windows will and must be limited. It is the customer first and that is rail users - and you should make your self indispensible to them and that means continuous service at Christmas and other times of the year. I worry that total network shutdowns may become a habit post 2013 – that must not happen.

  9. Carl says:

    max - calm down, its hardly “ripping” into someone.

    your totally missing my first thought of the process.

  10. William M says:

    In case anyone hasn’t noticed, a lot of rail systems *do* shut down. The BART in San Francisco shuts down every night for four hours for works. That’s technically a ‘shut down’. Can’t work on third rail electric tracks if they’re turned on now, can we?


  11. Matt says:

    The last shutdowns were really annoying. I had two weeks of forced leave over Xmas/New Year’s and thought I’d catch the Overlander to Auckland (to then get the ferry to Great Barrier), except the train had exactly the same 2 week shutdown. Suburban shutdowns over Xmas/New Year’s are kind of understandable in terms of reduced demand, and a chance to do network upgrades as they were In Wellington last time, but stopping the Overlander in probably its time of peak demand. Crazy!!!

  12. Martin says:

    The rail and tube networks in the UK always have drastically reduced rail services (and are often closed) for the Christmas/New Years rail works affecting far greater numbers of people per capita then KiwiRail… only difference to NZ is its a bit colder for the permanent way boys!

  13. Giel says:

    Some closures will always be required for ongoing upgrades - as people say that is normal in most systems. Christmas is a good time for that as agreed it is a quiet time but total network shutdowns for a couple of weeks is not perpetually normal. Acknowledge it is required and best for say next three Christmas breaks (to Christmas 2013) but after that….

    Longer term people need to be able to use PT all year round - customer focus is essential - KiwiRail is currently more in a build focus at the moment which I think we can all understand and sympathise with - you need to give them time to build robustness into the network in order for good customer service.

    Reduced timetables at holidays - yes agree - staged shutdowns on certain lines for major works from time to time - yes agree - overnight shutdowns for maintenance - yes agree. Total shutdowns for Christmas for over two week for foreseeable future (post electrification complete) - No not long term. The exception to this would be any major development that would normally be one off in nature such as electrification outage for substation renewal etc

  14. Carl says:

    Martin - true in saying that, but the buses still run and they add a few extra services.

    from what I can remember (living there) the only day its fully closed is xmas day.

    nye they actually put on extra services.

    night time shut down is what generally happens.

    my question really is, what do people who don’t have the means of a private transport do during this time.

    because its not a holiday for everybody and not everybody has the luxury of a car.

  15. max says:

    Carl - didn’t you just answer your own question? RAIL shuts down, but there are bus replacement services.

    It’s like people having their house renovated. They don’t become homeless bums living on the street for a few months- they move somewhere else temporarily. Inconvenient? Sure. But the PT service isn’t just gone.

  16. Sharon Hunter (Auckland Transport) says:

    “Thanks for this accurate and informative piece. Which is more than I can say for the item in the Herald this morning. For the record, I did not say that Auckland Transport was ‘too busy” to finish Manukau Station before February. I simply outlined the reasons for the re-programming of the work as you have reported here. Needless to say we (Auckland Transport) have formally complained to the Herald. Sharon Hunter (Auckland Transport)

  17. Carl says:

    Max -

    total shut down i.e no service, what do you do?

    night time shut down generally between the hours of when no uses it and no one uses it.

    BIG difference.

    my Bus service comment - LONDON. not Auckland.

  18. Brian says:


    The Overlander did run during the Xmas shut down. Passengers were bussed to and from either Pukekohe or Papakura, and joined the train at either of those stations.

  19. Luke says:

    @Brian usually thats what happens but there was a week or two over xmas where there were amjor shutdowns in Auckland, Wellington, and other NIMT works too so the OVerlander was just plain cancelled.
    Happened this easter too.
    While we are undertaking major infrastructure works there is no option but to shut things down. Maybe with electrification things will slow down, but there will still be projects like the Britomart end of the CBDRL and triple tracking between Westfield and Wiri that will mean some shutdowns will continue.

  20. [...] was almost around now that the new Manukau rail line was to have opened. While that has been delayed until next February, good to see the track work continues. Here is how it is looking [...]


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