Model Railway

Please note: These spaces will not be open during level 2. We apologise for the inconvenience.

The history of rail in New Zealand dates back as far as the 1870s, facilitating the growth of towns and industry.

MOTAT currently features two model railways on display, showcasing the iconic North Island Main Trunk Line and West Auckland’s rail history. 


The Main Trunk Line

For almost forty years MOTAT’s model railway has celebrated the engineering and ingenuity of the North Island Main Trunk Line. An essential service in its day, the route transported everyone from politicians and royal visitors, to businessmen, public servants, soldiers, and holiday makers. 

The 680km line passes through 26 tunnels, over 23 major viaducts and bridges and traverses three mountain summits. MOTAT’s Main Trunk Line model showcases the spectacular, curved Hapuawhenua Viaduct and the engineering marvel of the Raurimu Spiral.

This historic journey is still available to the public today via the Northern Explorer and at 1:87 scale every day at MOTAT


West Auckland Rail

MOTAT’s rail network just got a little bigger with a brand-new model railway opening in the historic Waitakere Station building and made possible by Great Journeys of New Zealand, operated by KiwiRail.

The new model gives our youngest visitors a chance to explore West Auckland’s rail history and meet some of the characters that rode the rails over the last 100 years.

Thanks to Great Journeys of New Zealand for their support. 



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