The Government is fulfilling its commitment to bring New Zealand’s rail network back up to scratch and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today.
KiwiRail’s inaugural Rail Network Investment Programme (RNIP) was released today which details renewals and upgrades on the rail network over the next three years.
The Programme includes:
Fully replacing 20 bridges around the country and improving around 25 more
Replacing more than 200km of rail sleepers
Replacing more than 130km of tracks
Adding active controls (barrier arms, lights/bells) to 3 level crossings and making improvements to 25 more through renewals
Upgrading signals on the Auckland metro network, a new Auckland train control centre and an additional power supply into the network, to support increased train frequency to come with the City Rail Link
Investing in a business case for further network improvements across Wellington, including looking at potentially extending electrification north of Waikanae to Levin and beyond.
Michael Wood said rail is key to keeping New Zealand moving and is supporting our economic recovery.
“The disruptions to the supply chain due to COVID have shown how important it is to have a reliable rail network to keep freight flowing, which keeps our economy moving. This $1.3 billion investment is about lifting our national rail network to a resilient and reliable standard.
“It is enabling KiwiRail to take on around 150 new track staff, including a pipeline of trainees, and will also support numerous civil contracting firms and material suppliers. There will be work happening across every region, supporting jobs and the economic recovery across the country.
“It’s a no brainer to rescue rail from the state of managed decline the previous government left it in. It’s worth up to $2.1 billion to our economy and every year it prevents 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and 26 million car trips in Auckland and Wellington,” Michael Wood said.