Auckland Metro Rail Franchise


Prospective pipeline

Credibly proposed


Under procurement

Preferred bidder announced

Recently closed
Auckland Metro Rail Franchise

Prospective pipeline

Greenfield (construction) or brownfield (government asset divestment) projects needed or likely to occur within the next five years, but is not formally proposed by a state, territory or major local government.

Credibly proposed

The project or divestment is supported by a state, territory or major local government, is subject to studies or other processes (such as pre-feasibility or scoping studies or business case development), and is likely to proceed to formal announcement.   


The project has a firm commitment and timeline from a state, territory or major local government, but has not yet entered the market.

Under procurement

The project or transaction is under procurement (such as a call for Expressions of Interest, requests for tender, or another offer to the market).

Preferred bidder announced

A preferred bidder has been selected and is in exclusive negotiations.

Recently closed

Projects that have progressed to contractual close remain on ANZIP for 12 months.

ANZIP is focused only on major infrastructure activity, above the following thresholds:


Construction projects: > AUD$300m

Investable greenfield & brownfield: > AUD$100m

New Zealand

All greenfield and brownfield projects and divestments: > NZD $100 million

STATUS: Under procurement
SECTOR: Other transport
TYPE: Greenfield

Auckland Transport (AT) are looking to re-tender the franchise contract for the operation of Auckland's metro rail network.

The Auckland metro rail network comprises 185 kilometres of track, 42 stations and 57 three-car electric multiple unit trains. 15 more trains are currently on order and are expected to start entering service in 2019.

The network is currently operated by Transdev, who have operated the network since 2003.

The re-tender signals a strategic shift away from the current operating model to increased levels of vertical integration, in an effort to improve operational and commercial efficiency across the rail network. Under the new operating model there is potential for the rail services operator to assume greater responsibility and control across various operational elements of rail services provision than occurs now.

The franchise will also include train operations through the City Rail Link (CRL) when it opens. The successful franchisee will have a large role in testing and commissioning of the CRL infrastructure in the lead up to the opening of the project.

Maintenance, repair and overhaul of the existing AT EMU fleet after 2025 is in consideration for the franchise agreement. This function is currently contracted to CAF until October 2025.

Contract duration is subject to industry consultation but is indicatively thought to comprise a base term and performance extension totaling 12-15 years.



Project Timeline

Apr 2019: Initial round of industry consultation
Nov 2019: Second round of industry consultation
Jan 2020: Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI)
Mar 2020: EOIs close
Jul 2020:
Request for Tender (RFT)
Dec 2020: Expected Contract Award
Mid 2021: Expected Commencement of Operations



Project History

3 February 2020: Auckland Transport called for Expressions of Interest for the contract. EOIs closed on 13 March 2020. The contract is expected to be awarded in February 2021.

25 October 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.

August 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.

April 2019: AT released an Advance notice to inform industry of an upcoming market sounding exercise. AT is seeking 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.

AT previously tendered for a new rail franchise contract in 2015, but postponed the tender due to the initiation of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project and the commencement of construction on CRL. Companies shortlisted at the time included Transdev, Serco and NZ Government-owned KiwiRail.

Last reviewed: 01/05/2020

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Government sponsors


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