Vitruvius’ Managing Director Neil Mason has been engaged as the Engineer to the Contract for this crucial $315m rail corridor upgrade project. A third main track will be extended to ease congestion along one of the busiest parts of New Zealand’s North Island Main Trunk line between Wiri and the Westfield rail facility. This will allow slow-moving freight trains to be separated from passenger trains so they won’t delay commuter services. It will also provide increased capacity on Auckland’s metro network prior to the City Rail Link opening in 2024, and improve connections at several key hubs. The project has a number of difficult and complex phases including:
- Major transformations between Westfield and Wiri junctions
- Third line construction through the Middlemore hospital area down to Wiri container terminal
- Improvements and upgrades to Auckland Port and the Quay Park approaches
The benefits of this project are immense. A third main track will offer rail operators both redundancy and increased resilience, ensuring freight and passenger services run with high level reliability.
Westfield and Wiri Junctions
These are the busiest junctions for both freight and commuter trains. The works will improve connections (entry and exit points) between the rail yards, Auckland Transport’s EMU (electric trains) depot, and the main line. It will allow freight and commuter trains to operate on separate tracks for greater efficiency.
Middlemore to Wiri
The existing rail corridor will be widened in places to accommodate a third track between Middlemore and Wiri. This will provide greater capacity for both freight and commuter services without one impeding the other.
Puhinui and Papatoetoe stations can already accommodate the new track but changes are required at Middlemore station where a new platform and overbridges will be constructed so people can access the rail corridor safely.
Once again, the goal here is to separate out freight and commuter trains. Changes will be made to the track layout to provide separate rail access to the Ports of Auckland freight yard. Two additional scissor crossovers will also be installed to provide more operational flexibility.
Project: Wiri to Quay Park – Third Main
When: 2020 – Current
Vitruvius Scope: Rail Infrastructure