New Zealand rail operator KiwiRail has submitted planning approval applications for two new train stations, Drury Central and Paerata, in Southern Auckland.

The applications have been made under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.

The company has been appointed as the lead agency for three new stations between Papakura and Pukekohe.

KiwiRail capital projects COO David Gordon said: “The stations, and our project to electrify the railway between Papakura and Pukekohe, will provide people who live in this fast-growing part of Auckland with better access to public transport.

“With an additional 100,000 people expected to move into the area over the next 30 years, encouraging people to switch from using their cars will help ease congestion on an already busy road network and reduce carbon emissions in Auckland.”

For the planning and development of the transport infrastructure, the company is working along with Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi.

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By GlobalData

Work in connection with finalising of details for the third station at Drury West is currently in progress, and planning approvals will be processed under the Resource Management Act.

After obtaining approval from a fast-track consenting panel, construction on the first two stations is anticipated to start in 2023.

KiwiRail said in a statement: “The three stations came out of engagement with the public, mana whenua and analysis from the Supporting Growth Alliance (SGA), which is a collaboration between Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi.”

The new infrastructure will feature bus interchanges, bicycle and walking connections, bicycle parking, accessways and park and ride car parks.

Furthermore, a third main track will be built, which will help in minimising congestion ‘on the busiest section of the network between Wiri and Westfield’.

This project has received financial backing from the Government under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

It is among a $1.04bn (NZD$1.5bn) suite of projects that aim to upgrade the rail network in Auckland.

In August this year, KiwiRail secured independent panel approval of the resource consents for the main works related to its electrification project in South Auckland.