New Zealand Government announced a AUD 1 billion (USD 721 million) investment for KiwiRail improvement projects and the procurement of new rolling stock. AUD 741 million (USD 513.5 million) are to be provided through Vote Transport over the next two years, and a further AUD 300 million (USD 208 million) available for regional rail projects through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
Beside USD 208 million for regional rail projects, KiwiRail will invest AUD 331 million (USD 230 million) in the maintenance of the existing tracks and signalling systems, as well as the procurement of new freight handling equipment and a new freight reservation and tracking system. AUD 375 million (almost USD 260 million) will be used for the replacement of 900 aging container wagons and start replacing the fleet of 48 South Island locomotives and some shunt engines, which are up to 50 years old. In addition, this investment will also be used to improve the layout and efficiency of the major maintenance depots at Hutt and Waltham.
AUD 35 million (USD 24.2 million) will be invested for progressing procurement of two new, rail enabled ferries that will replace Interislander’s aging Aratere, Kaitaki, and Kaiarahi ferries.
“This funding will allow us to improve the resilience of the rail network and invest in much needed wagons, locomotives and improve the productivity of our workshops so that rail services can be more reliable and operate more competitively in the market,” Greg Miller, the CEO of KiwiRail said.