Northern line to extend to Northport

The northern line was upgraded and reopened in January this year.

The northern rail line from Helensville to Whangarei, which runs through Wellsford and Kaiwaka, will become a lot busier.

The government has announced it is funding a 19-kilometre spur between Whangarei and Northport to enable heavy freight trains to carry goods from Auckland for export.

KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says it is the first significant new rail line in New Zealand since the 1950s.

He says that freight moved on the line could reach 2.2 million tonnes a year, up from 100,000 tonnes.

He says the ability to carry hi-cube shipping containers between Auckland and Northport would be “a game changer”.

“The middle and far North are becoming the ‘North of Plenty’, potentially seeing the kind of horticulture growth that the Bay of Plenty experienced in the 1950s.”

“Northern producers will be able to get their exports to Northport and their produce around New Zealand easily, efficiently and in a more environmentally friendly way.”

Land purchases for the new line are expected to begin this year.

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