Permanent Closure

The Waitakere Tramline Society regrets to announce that it has been advised by Watercare Services that the Waitakere Tramline has been permanently closed to any passenger train operations as from Monday 24 November 2014.

We are currently looking into alternative solutions.

For further information on the closure please refer to the website of Watercare Services Ltd:

Join in the discussion:

And, if you like, there's a petition to try and keep these services running:

Rainforest Express to remain closed
Watercare has announced the Rainforest Express will remain out of service indefinitely. The decision will also mean an end to the passenger service previously operated by the Waitakere Tramline Society.
Public use of the Upper Nihotupu and neighbouring Waitakere tramlines has been suspended since May 2013, when a major landslide caused significant damage to the Upper Nihotupu tramline.
Watercare Chief Executive Raveen Jaduram said he was sad to see the end of what had become a West Auckland icon during the 15 years Watercare had operated it as a sightseeing excursion for visitors from far and near.
He said the Board had taken a long time to assess the various options available to the company, but in the end the decision was a straightforward one.
“As a provider of water and wastewater services, public health and safety sits at the core of what we do as a business. The Board considers it is impossible to reopen these lines for general use in a way that meets our statutory requirements and our responsibilities regarding the welfare of the public,” Mr Jaduram said.
Mr Jaduram said an independent geotechnical report had identified 20 at risk sites across both tramlines, nine of which posed a significant risk to public safety. The report put the cost of reducing risk to an acceptable level for public use at these nine sites at more than $11 million – and noted that even then, the residual risk could be “significant”.
Mr Jaduram said that did not take into account the risk posed at other sites along both routes, which would be very difficult to identify and almost impossible to mitigate.
“It is important to remember that the rock fall that first closed the tracks happened in an area that had previously been regarded as low risk,” said Mr Jaduram.
Mr Jaduram said similar events in the area were not uncommon: a rock fall across the Waitakere line on Anniversary Day this year damaged the Waitakere Raw Watermain, while another just prior to Christmas 2013 led to the temporary closure of Exhibition Drive to enable the removal of unstable overhanging rocks.
Mr Jaduram said Watercare had to balance its wish to let the public enjoy the recreational and other benefits many of its operational areas possess against public health and safety requirements, environmental and operational considerations, and Watercare’s responsibilities as landowner.
“In this case, the public health and safety considerations are overwhelming.”
Mr Jaduram said Watercare would continue to use the lines to transport maintenance staff and equipment as and when required. He said staff use was infrequent, allowing for more elaborate safety precautions to be taken than could be implemented with a regular passenger service, and the lines provided effective access for headworks maintenance.

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Adults NZ$15.00
Children (5 - 15 years) NZ$5.00
Pre-schoolers FREE
Groups (whole train)* POA


Sunday Timetable - trains leave East Portal at:

  • 10:00am
  • 11:30am
  • 1:00pm
  • 2:30pm

Current fares apply from 1st October 2011. Fares may change without prior notice.
No trips available on Christmas Day or Boxing Day

Booking Tickets

If you want to book a trip, please call +6427 266 4108..

Unfortunately, we can't yet do online bookings.

Please use the contact us form for general feedback though - we'd love to hear from you!

Price entitles the passenger to one return ride on the Waitakere Tramline. Prices and timetable may change without prior notice.

Our train may be difficult to access for some people, please advise when booking to discuss your individual needs

Please note: For groups of 7 or more people we require a NZ$50 deposit. The balance will then be payable on the day of your trip. Conditions as per group bookings (as detailed below) will apply.

Group bookings:

To book the entire train for a trip we require a NZ$50 deposit when booking and the balance paid on the day of your trip.


  • Your booking will be tentative until we have received your deposit. You will then be contacted to confirm your booking.
  • Your deposit must be received within 10 days of lodging your booking, otherwise your booking will become void.
  • The NZ$50 deposit is normally non-refundable, except when:
    • We cancel the trip due to weather or operational reasons, we refund your deposit in full.
    • If you cancel more than 8 days prior to your booking, we refund your deposit in full. N.B. Less than 8 days before your trip, no refund. Depending on circumstances we can reschedule for another day.

An International Currency convertor can be found here:

Method of payment is either cash or cheque. Sorry, NO EFTPOS or credit card facilities.

Please report no later than 15 minutes before departure

Train seats 20 adult passengers.


Please note: We cannot guarantee that you will get the booking you want, especially when booking on the day you want to travel. To avoid disappointment, please book at least 2 weeks in advance.


Special arrangements can be made for larger parties or other days.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Tramline passes through two tunnels, one is 0.7km long. The lights are dimmed to enable passengers to view the glowworms. Please be aware of this if you suffer nyctophobia (fear of the dark), or claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces).

The Society reserves the right to cancel any train, as circumstances dictate. Prices may change without prior notice.

Click here for contact information

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