John Holland helps turbocharge Auckland’s rail network


Australasia’s largest private rail operator John Holland has partnered with McConnell Dowell to deliver world-class public transport improvements for New Zealand’s largest city.

The joint venture, between two leading rail specialists, eTRACS, has been awarded the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contract for the Papakura to Pukekohe Electrification Project (P2P) by KiwiRail in Auckland, New Zealand.

The P2P project is a critical component of KiwiRail’s record investment in rail infrastructure across Auckland.

John Holland Executive General Manager - Rail, Steve Butcher welcomed the announcement, saying the project will provide economic support for the pandemic-impacted economy and deliver new local jobs.

“This is a wonderful initiative that will help provide much needed support for Auckland’s economy, while delivering customer-focused public transport improvements,” Mr Butcher said.

John Holland Operations Manager - New Zealand, Anthony McFadden said the announcement builds on John Holland’s successful partnership with KiwiRail, to provide vital rail infrastructure across New Zealand.

“We are excited to be working again with KiwiRail, and McConnell Dowell, to deliver safe, reliable and innovative transport for Auckland,” Mr McFadden said.

The joint-venture’s new name, eTRACS, is an acronym of the team’s vision - Energising the Railway and Communities Safely.

The name captures the project’s scope and the joint-venture’s commitment to energising travel options, the local community and overhead lines linking Papakura and Pukekohe.

The initiative is part of the Government’s NZ$6.8 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, designed to stimulate the local economy following the international Coronavirus pandemic.

The NZ$371 million P2P project is a critical component of the Upgrade Programme, delivering vital economic stimulus for South Auckland, in a COVID-safe environment.

The electrification of the southern section of the Auckland rail network will enable frequent non-stop journeys for a growing Auckland, while supporting additional service capacity for the City Rail Link.

Work on the project is scheduled to begin later in the year and will include:

  • Extending the overhead power system 19km between Papakura and Pukekohe
  • Existing track and signalling upgrades
  • Redeveloping Pukekohe station to allow for more services and longer trains
  • A new substation and train stabling facilities
  • Future proofing the rail corridor and enabling works for new stations along the route.

For more information about eTRACS and the P2P project: Link to eTRACS LinkedIn post.