Railways Act 2005

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Transport

Version as at 30 November 2022

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Railways Act 2005

Public Act
2005 No 37
Date of assent
20 April 2005
see section 2

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Transport.


5Meaning of reasonably practicable
5ATransitional, savings, and related provisions
6Act binds the Crown
6AAct is land transport Act
7General safety duties of rail participants and persons working for rail participants
8Relationship of Act with Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
9General safety duties of other persons
10Rail operators and access providers must hold licences
11Duty to comply with licences, safety cases, and safety systems
12Duty to comply with instructions from network controllers
13Duties in relation to accidents and incidents
14Duty of rail participants to comply with dangerous goods provisions of Land Transport Act 1998
15Certain rail participants must be licensed
16Application for licence
17Grant of licences
18Transfer or assignment of licence prohibited
19Term of licence
20Register of licences
21Conditions of licences
22Agents and contractors
23Power of Director to suspend licence or impose temporary conditions
24Power of Director to revoke licence or impose permanent conditions
25Matters relating to action taken under section 23 or section 24
26Power of Director to amend or revoke licences in other cases
27Rights of persons affected in relation to adverse decisions
28Power of Director to prohibit operation, impose conditions, or detain or immobilise rail vehicles or railway infrastructure
29Proposed safety case to accompany application for licence
30Contents of safety case
31Matters to be taken into account in considering proposed safety case
32Approval of safety case
33Application to replace or vary approved safety case
34Requirement by Director to replace or vary approved safety case
35Procedure for replacement or variation of approved safety case
36Safety improvement plans
37Ordinary and special safety assessments
38Safety assessor must consult
39Safety assessment report
40Matters included in safety assessment report
41Costs of safety assessments
42Notification of requirement for improvements
43Report on remedial action
44Extension of time to complete remedial action
45Appointment of safety assessors
46Functions and duties of safety assessors
47Powers of safety assessors to obtain information, etc
48Powers of entry of safety assessors
49Minister’s power to make ordinary rules
50Rules concerning behaviour on railways or railway premises
51Rules concerning dangerous goods
52Rules concerning rail vehicles, railway premises, and railway infrastructure
53Rules concerning authorisation, standard-setting, etc
54Other provisions concerning ordinary rules
55Procedure concerning ordinary rules
56Agency may make emergency rules
57General provisions concerning making of rules
57AExemptions from requirements in rules
58Evidence of rules
60Regulations relating to fees and charges for rail transport
60AExemptions from requirements in regulations
61Failure to comply with safety duties
62Failure to hold licence
63Failure to report accident or incident
64Obstructing safety assessor
65Liability of employers and principals
66Liability of directors of bodies corporate
67Power to prohibit or restrict persons from being involved in rail activities
68Appeal to District Court
70Decision of Agency or Director to continue in force pending appeal, etc
71Appeal to High Court on question of law
72Further appeal to Court of Appeal
73Trespass relating to railway
74Railway drains
75Access to railway by easements or for works
76Lights, etc, liable to be confused with railway signals
77Power to prevent damage to railway
78Notice requirements
79Compensation for damage
80Rail vehicles have right of way
81Notices and warning devices at level crossings
82Gates and cattle stops
83Maintenance of crossings
84Use of road for railway
85Landowner has no interest in railway lines
86Right of entry to existing railway infrastructure
87Maintenance of railway infrastructure on roads
88Notice of alteration to railway lines or works on roads
89Appeals in relation to conditions imposed
90Appeals on questions of law
91No charging for access to road reserve
93Certificates by infrastructure owners or licensed access providers
95Who may file charging document for offence
96Evidence and proof
97Application of fees
98Infringement offences
99Issue of infringement notice
100Contents of infringement notices and reminder notices
101Infringement fees
102Appointment of enforcement officers
103Repeals, revocations, and consequential amendments
104Repeals by Order in Council
105Issue of licences to persons holding rail service licences under Transport Services Licensing Act 1989
106Provisions relating to persons requiring licences who do not hold rail service licences under Transport Services Licensing Act 1989
107Safety audits under Transport Services Licensing Act 1989
108Decisions of Agency under Transport Services Licensing Act 1989
109Applications under Transport Services Licensing Act 1989
110Court proceedings under Transport Services Licensing Act 1989
111Application of Transport Services Licensing Act 1989 to licences issued under this Act