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!
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Date & Time

Permanent Exhibition


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.

Please note: The Main Trunk Line will be closed on Monday 1 May for further flood damage repairs.


The newest addition to MOTAT’s model rail network celebrates 100 years of rail in West Auckland. Housed in the historic Waitākere 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.

Over the viaduct on the Main Trunk Line.

The Great Journeys of New Zealand

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

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Not ideal for wheelchairs.

Location: MOTAT 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 MOTAT Great North Road. Please arrange in advance.


We recommend parking on Stadium Road and Great North Road.