An underground rail station has been dropped from plans for Auckland's city rail link.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown says Auckland Transport (AT) has decided to redevelop the existing Mt Eden Station and connect it to the city rail link rather than build a new underground station at Newton.
By abandoning the plan to have a station at Newton the council will save more than $150 million, he says.
Mr Brown claims the move will also improve the reliability and journey time of train services, minimise construction disruption and reduce property purchase requirements.
AT chairman Lester Levy says by removing the very deep Newton station it will reduce construction disruption in upper Symonds St by 12 to 18 months.
In another cost-cutting move, the council will delay buying electric trains for the rail link.
The council has decided that additional electric trains will not be required as part of the core project, saving more than $330 million.
It says it is expected that new units will be required as the network expands.
The changes will see the cost reduce from $2.86 billion to less than $2.4 billion, or about 20% of the overall bill.
Owners affected by the new design have been contacted directly by Auckland Transport about the change.