Full project details
The HILOR consortium, comprising Hawkins Infrastructure and Laing O’Rourke, electrified 80km of Auckland's dual-track suburban railway network, creating a modern and reliable system to accommodate this vibrant world-class city’s future growth demands.
The Auckland Electrification project encompassed a programme of rail service improvements and infrastructure upgrades to increase the network’s capacity and improve service levels. Installing an electrified rail system was an important step in future-proofing Auckland’s network, and HILOR successfully met all programme milestones, constructing the electrification infrastructure a live rail network with minimal disruptions to commuters.
More than 80km of Auckland's dual-track suburban railway was electrified, constructing 3,433 foundations for 3800 overhead wiring (OHW) structures, 80 switching structures and running almost 590km of OHW to Auckland’s railway network. HILOR also supplied infrastructure for two feeder stations and four track sectioning cabinets.
Collaborating to innovate
HILOR worked collaboratively with the Kiwi Rail’s design team, embedding our OHW and rail engineers with their design team, to develop innovative mast and foundation solutions for 25kV electrification system. These solutions brought significant cost savings while maintaining the overall integrity of the structural support system for the 25kV overhead catenary.
These savings largely came from using planted masts in lieu of base plated masts. We and developed unique foundation designs that were relevant to the highly variable ground conditions and adaptable to the specific loads on each support structure.
Communicating to engage and educate
Working in Auckland’s city centre and in a live rail network made the construction methodology critical. HILOR developed a detailed time chainage diagram using Google Earth to visually communicate the program and provide Kiwi Rail surety that we would deliver the works and successfully hand the rail line back to commuter services following possession and night works.
We helped Kiwi Rail to deliver a range of engagement and education programs on the hazards associated with electrified rail networks. This initiative significantly increased awareness across schools, businesses and local communities.
New Zealand first
The project featured a New Zealand first – conductor rails within tunnels and inside Auckland’s central terminal. The major advantages of this system are its low overall height to suit the tunnel environment, smooth transition of the contact and catenary wires from outside the tunnel to the conductor rails within, high fire resistance rating, low maintenance requirements and long service life.