New rail track for Auckland-Whangarei rail upgrade arrives

More than 100km of new rail line has landed in Whangārei for a major upgrade of Northland's rail line.

While work cannot resume until the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have lapsed, 107.7 kms. of rail track has arrived at Northport and will be stored in the meantime.

The Government is putting more than $205 million into the region's rail network, including upgrading the line to Auckland and building a spur line to Northport, the deepwater port at Marsden Point.

Improvements to Northland's railway lines are being made with almost $205 million of funding from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

A portion of the newly arrived rail will be used for other essential track replacement work throughout the North Island.

Most of the rail will be used to replace existing medium-weight rail, rail in tunnels, and sections of heavily worn rail in Northland.

Regional Development Minister Shane Jones, who is in charge of the PGF, welcomed the rail track delivery.

"I'm really heartened to see the 107,000 metres of heavy-weight rail arriving at Northport, most of which will be used to upgrade the rail line between Swanson and Whangārei,'' Minister Jones said.

"The Government is investing almost $205 million into Northland rail – including purchasing land for a potential spur line to Marsden Point - which will help create local jobs and see tens of millions of dollars fed in the regional economy.

"We're in a very fluid situation with Covid-19. It's too early to say exactly when work will start but we are getting ready to hit the ground running as soon as it is safe," the Minister added.

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