Auckland Metro Rail Franchise

Auckland Metro Rail Franchise

The Auckland metro rail network comprises 185 kilometres of track, 42 stations and 57 three-car electric multiple unit (EMU) trains. 15 more trains entered service in 2020.

The previous network operation contract awarded to Transdev in 2004 expired in March 2022, after several extensions. The new metro rail operations contract was awarded to Auckland One Rail (AOR) and involves an initial eight-year contract period, worth approximately NZ$130 million annually.

The new contract will also include train operations through the City Rail Link (CRL) when it opens. Beyond train operations, the new contractor will also be responsible for electric train maintenance, station operations and maintenance, safety, and security. The new contractor is further expected to establish a rolling stock maintenance facility for train overhauls in South Auckland which will complement the existing facility at Wiri.

Key Dates

Jan 2020 EOIs Open
Mar 2020 EOIs Close
Jul 2020 RFT Open
Aug 2021 Contract Award
Jan 2022 Operations/Service Commencement
Mar 2030 Operations/Service Completion


Procuring Agency: Auckland Transport
Shortlist: Aka Tangata consortium comprising Transdev, John Holland and CAF Rail, and Auckland One Rail joint venture comprising ComfortDelGro Transit and UGL Rail.
Successful Tenderer: Auckland One Rail joint venture comprising ComfortDelGro and UGL


2015 AT previously tendered for a new rail franchise contract but postponed the tender due to the initiation of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project and the commencement of construction on CRL City Rail Link. Companies shortlisted at the time included Transdev, Serco and NZ Government-owned KiwiRail.
Apr 2019 AT released an Advance notice to inform industry of an upcoming market sounding exercise. AT sought input from industry to help design the best operating model and commercial framework. Indicative dates were provided for EOI, RFT, Contract Award and Commencement of Operations.
Aug 2019 AT revised the expected dates for EOI (Feb 2020) and RFT (May 2020). AT also stated that the design of the future operating model was in refinement stages, after which the scope of the future contract and commercial framework would be established.
Oct 2019 AT released a notice of pre-registration. This invites organisations to pre-register to receive market engagement, RFI and EOI documentation. The RFI will be available from 8 November 2019. EOIs will be released in late January 2020 with Request for Proposals going to shortlisted respondents in May 2020.
Feb 2020 Auckland Transport called for Expressions of Interest for the contract, closing on 13 March 2020. The contract is expected to be awarded in February 2021.
Jun 2021 The expected commencement of operations has been pushed back from July 2021 to 'early 2022'. Contract award is expected in August 2021.
Aug 2021 Auckland Transport awarded the rail operation contract to Auckland One Rail (AOR) – a joint venture comprising ComfortDelGro Transit (CDGT) and UGL Rail in a 50:50 equity relationship. The contract was worth NZ$130 million annually, and involved an eight-year initial term.
Jan 2022 Auckland One Rail has taken over the new passenger operator role for Auckland's passenger rail services under its contract with Auckland Transport.
Estimated Total Cost
Other Transport
Procurement approach
Service Contract |
New Zealand |
Project pages
Auckland Transport