Urban passenger trains
Wellington and Auckland are the only cities with an urban rail network. This means thousands of passengers can travel between suburbs and the central city.
Long distance passenger trains
KiwiRail operates long-distance passenger trains. These include:
- The Northern Explorer (Wellington to Auckland)
- The Tranz Alpine (Christchurch to Greymouth)
- The Coastal Pacific (Christchurch to Picton).
Every week over 900 freight trains move around the country. These trains carry freight and goods.
All electric rail is in the North Island and includes:
- The Wellington Metro Line
- 65% of the North Island Main Trunk Line NIMT
- The Auckland Metro Line.
The Auckland Metro Line opened in 2015 and runs from Swanson in the west to Papakura in the south. This line is helping to reduce road traffic in Auckland.
The Train Control Centre is in Wellington. All of New Zealand’s trains are controlled from here. Trains are located using GPS and tracked so train controllers can manage signal changes.
Upgrading New Zealand's Rail Network
The government will spend one billion dollars on KiwiRail. This includes:
- $375 million for new wagons and engines
- $331 million on track and service upgrades
- $300 million for the development of rail in small regions
- and $35 million to replace two ferries.
The Auckland City Rail Link also has funding. This link will be equal to 16 extra lanes of traffic into the city centre.
The railway is private property
Railway tracks and rail yards are private property. You are not allowed to:
- Cross railway tracks anywhere other than on an official level crossing.
- Enter railway property without permission.
Ready for a quiz? Try the 'Trains in New Zealand' activity.