Passenger trains will link Pukekohe with Auckland from Monday to replace the Waikato Connection, which will be scrapped from today.

The Auckland Regional Council and Tranz Metro this week struck a deal to start a Pukekohe service on a similar timetable to the Waikato Connection. A train will leave Pukekohe at 7.13 am on weekdays and arrive in Auckland at 8.04 am. The return service will leave Auckland at 5.37 pm and arrive at 6.32 pm.

The Waikato Connection between Auckland and Hamilton will go because of the sale of Tranz Scenic to West Coast Rail. The ARC said the new service would be monitored for passenger numbers and a decision on its long-term future made after local body elections.

Tranz Metro now goes only as far south as Papakura.