Hamilton to Auckland rail service receives approval for $92 million in funding


The previously announced commuter railway between Hamilton and Auckland has received approval for $92 million in funding from NZ Transport Agency ($79.8m) and local authorities ($12.6m). The funding will enable upgrades to the Frankton and Huntly rail stations, a new station at The Base in Rotokauri, a new KiwiRail carriage maintenance facility in Te Rapa, Wi-Fi on carriages and a ticketing system.

The passenger rail service between Hamilton and Auckland is being led by Waikato Regional Council, with partners KiwiRail, NZ Transport Agency, Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Auckland Transport.

As communicated by the Waikato Regional Council, a passenger rail connection between Hamilton and Auckland is one of a number of priority projects of the Hamilton to Auckland Corridor Plan (a joint iwi-council-central government initiative). The Hamilton to Auckland Corridor Plan will see the two regions work together with the government and local iwi to implement the plan.

As Maori Development and Associate Housing Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, said in a recent NZ Herald article, “the partnership is aimed to unlock the significant growth potential in Southern Auckland and the Hamilton – Waikato metropolitan area, underpinned by new rapid and commuter rail connections.”

The four-carriage train will accommodate 147 passengers with the ability to add on a fifth carriage as demand grows. The initial service will include two return trips Monday – Friday and one return service on Saturdays. 

The initial service is expected to start mid-2020 and start in Frankton in Hamilton, continue to the new transport hub at The Base in Rotokauri before going onto Huntly and finally stopping in Papakura, where passengers can change on to the Auckland Public Transport Network.

Given Te Kauwhata’s location and expected growth, Winton is continuing to lobby local and central government to include it as a valuable stop along the Hamilton to Auckland corridor. 


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