Model Railway

A MOTAT favourite for 40 years, but as they say: “a model railway is never finished.” So come and see what’s new!

Date & Time

Permanent Exhibition


The Main Trunk Line Model Railway is open on Saturdays from 10am - 1pm, as a trial until 14 May.

Please try to keep your visits to the Main Trunk Line short (around 5 - 10 minutes) as social distancing is being managed. This means there may be a slight wait for you turn.

MOTAT's pint-sized crowd pleasers!


For forty years MOTAT’s model railway has entranced and inspired visitors. The model showcases the history and engineering feats of the North Island Main Trunk Line. Marvel at the spectacular Hapuawhenua Viaduct and the twisting Raurimu Spiral and learn about the line’s incredible history.

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


The newest addition to MOTAT’s model rail network celebrates 100 years of rail in West Auckland. Housed in the historic Waitakere Station, the model is filled with intricate details and colourful characters for our youngest visitors to find.

Special thanks to Great Journeys of New Zealand, operated by KiwiRail, for making this model possible.

Over the viaduct on the Main Trunk Line.

Find out more about the objects in MOTAT's Collection:

Collections Online


Not ideal for wheelchairs

Location: M1, Great North Road.

Entrance: Confined spaces with narrow entrances.

Stairs: No stairs.

Noise: There are videos and interactives in the model railway rooms.

Mobility parking is available on site at M1. Please arrange in advance.


We recommend parking on Stadium Road and Great North Road.