RTSA awards

2016 Roy Hill Rail Project & KiwiRail - Auckland Electrification Project

Railway Project Award 2016

THE RTSA BIENNIAL RAILWAY PROJECT AWARD FOR 2016 IS MADE TO Two joint winners:

Roy Hill Holdings for the Roy Hill Rail Project in Western Australia; and

KiwiRail, Siemens Rail Automation, Hawkins Infrastructure & Laing O’Rourke Joint Venture (HILOR) for the Auckland Electrification Project in New Zealand. 



The RTSA Biennial Railway Project Award for 2016 is jointly awarded to the Auckland Electrification Project in New Zealand and the Roy Hill Rail Project in Western Australia.

These very different projects, one a regeneration of an aging under-utilized urban passenger rail network, and the other a new build high capacity heavy haul iron ore line, highlight the range and diversity of current rail engineering projects in Australasia, and have been selected for both their successful implementation and their innovative use of technology to meet the project objectives. 

The Auckland Electrification Project (AEP) is the culmination of over 12 years work to transform rail passenger transport in New Zealand’s largest city, which has seen annual ridership grow from under three million in 2003 to sixteen million in April 2016, and the replacement of aging infrastructure and diesel rolling stock with state of the art electric trains, signaling and train control systems and 25Kv AC traction overhead systems. The approximate NZD 500 million Auckland Electrification Project was delivered by KiwiRail in conjunction with key partners, Siemens Rail Automation (formerly Invensys Rail), and the HILOR Joint Venture between Hawkins Infrastructure & Laing O’Rourke between January 2010 and September 2010. Electric Multiple Units, procured under a separate contract by Auckland Transport from CAF, commenced running in April 2014 with all suburban services converted to electric operation by July 2015.   

AEP involved the installation of 80 km of electrified track, 3,500 traction masts and portals, six substations, 154 new signals huts, 382 new signals and 235 new point machines. Key technology innovations realized by the project included:
  • The first fully operational implementation of the European Train Control System Level 1 automatic train protection system in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The complete renewal of all signalling and train equipment with a state of the art modular computer based signalling system that significantly reduced design, installation and commissioning times.
  • The first major Southern Hemisphere use of a rigid overhead conductor beam system to simplify 25KV traction earthing and bonding arrangements and maintain architectural features in the subsurface Britomart terminal.




Sanjiv Manchanda and Gina Rinehart accepting the Biennial Railway Project Award from RTSA Executive Chair Graham Holden in 2016


Noel Burton and John Skilton accepting the Biennial Railway Project Award from RTSA Executive Chair Graham Holden in 2016

Honourable Mention

An honourable mention is made to the North Strathfield Rail Underpass project in Sydney which was successfully delivered by the North Strathfield Rail Underpass comprising Transport for New South Wales, Bouygues Travaux Publics and John Holland Pty Limited. 


Chris Jones from John Holland pictured accepting their Honourable Mention from RTSA Executive Chair Graham Holden in 2016