Media release

10 September 2023

Big community “thank you” marks end of complex CRL works programme

Auckland’s game changing City Rail Link starts two weeks of community celebrations tomorrow (Monday, 11 September) to mark the formal end of complex construction around the project’s Maungawhau station site on the North Auckland/Western Line.

The colossal construction programme spanning four years and well beyond one and a half million worker hours included the removal of unsafe level crossings, digging down almost 20 metres to build trenches, diverting utilities including a huge water main critical for the city, constructing new bridges and roads and paths, and building new sections of track to connect the existing line with the CRL tunnels.

“Now it’s time for us to say an equally colossal ‘thank you’ to our fantastic neighbours for the support and understanding they have given us over the years,” says Dr Sean Sweeney, City Rail Link Ltd’s Chief Executive.

“Disruption for a complex city-based project like CRL is unavoidable and we’ve done our best to reduce those impacts by working extended shifts almost every day of the year, sometimes in some pretty challenging conditions, to get the job done as quickly as possible.

“The success of any large-scale project is underpinned by a community’s backing and its patience and we’ve had that in truckloads from the many people who live and work next to our Maungawhau site.”

Dr Sweeney says CRL Ltd and its principal contractor, Link Alliance, are planning a number of community focussed events acknowledging the positive role local people have played in the successful delivery of a world class railway.

Construction along a four-point-six kilometre-long east-west stretch of railway was necessary to reposition the track and build an expanded new Maungawhau (previously Mt Eden) station and platforms to serve the Western Line and CRL.

“What we call our North Auckland Line contract is full of very big numbers – we measure the amount of spoil removed and concrete poured by the tens of thousands of cubic metres; we rolled out close to four kilometres of overhead electric lines and laid over four thousand new rail sleepers,” Dr Sweeney says.

The old Mt Eden Station was closed and demolished and the Western Line reduced to single-line running – two tracks temporarily reduced to one – to maintain rail services while keeping CRL workers safe in a narrow construction corridor.

The construction programme in four years was extensive:

  • 1.3km of the Western Line replaced and repositioned - new lines built for a maximum train speed of 60kph
  • Replacing 3 level crossings with bridges to separate road and rail traffic
  • New bridges for pedestrians and sustainable modes of transport provide safe access above a section of the rail network expanding from two to four tracks
  • Repositioning and improving road and footpath
  • Diverting and upgrading utilities including part of the big Huia 2 watermain

Dr Sweeney also acknowledges the work of Link Alliance and teams, and the involvement of mana whenua, KiwiRail and its contractors, and Auckland Transport.

“A great team effort across many fronts: working together to keep Aucklanders moving, and recognising the cultural and historic past of Tāmaki Makaurau/ Auckland while we build for the city’s future growth and prosperity.”

Dual-line running through the worksite resumed on 10 July and some low-level programmes of work will continue until October when the North Auckland Line contract ends. CRL’s Maungawhau site will remain busy as work continues on other programmes of construction for the station and the CRL tunnels.


For more information please contact:
Ewart Barnsley
City Rail Link Ltd | Level 2, 25 Teed Street, Newmarket, Auckland 1023 PO Box 9681, Newmarket, Auckland 1149, New Zealand
M +64 21 567 862 | E

About the City Rail Link

The City Rail Link (CRL) is New Zealand’s largest ever transport infrastructure project, involving construction of a 3.45km twin-tunnel underground rail link up to 42m below the Auckland city centre. It will transform the downtown Waitematā Station (Britomart) into a two-way through-station that better connects the city’s rail network and more than doubles rail capacity across Tāmaki Makaurau. Two new stations Te Waihorotiu Station and Karanga-a-Hape Station are being constructed as part of the new modern urban railway link, while Mt Eden Station is being rebuilt and renamed as Maungawhau Station. When complete and fully operational, the CRL will carry up to 54,000 people per hour, an equivalent capacity to three Harbour Bridges or 16 extra traffic lanes in the city at peak travel times.