Environment and Sustainability, Freight Rail, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Passenger Rail

Kiwi budget to deliver “substantial” rail improvements

The New Zealand budget has confirmed more than NZ$700m in funding for rail projects.

FUNDING announcements in the New Zealand budget this week are “great news for businesses across the rail supply chain”, Australasian Railway Association chief executive Caroline Wilkie says.

A total of NZ$1.3bn in rail funding was included in this week’s announcement from the Beehive.

Wilkie said the additional investment in the rail network would support the country’s post COVID-19 recovery.

“It is an exciting time for rail in New Zealand, with key projects underway to deliver substantial improvements to the rail network,” Wilkie said.

“The new funding announcements confirmed today are great news for businesses across the rail supply chain, as well as for users of the network itself.”

The funding adds to several rail project investments, led by the Auckland City Rail Link currently underway.

The Budget confirmed NZ$722.7 million for the third tranche of KiwiRail’s rollingstock and mechanical maintenance facilities investment program and NZ$85 million for new KiwiRail domestic workshops.

A further NZ$449.9m was allocated to the Rail Network Investment Programme, while $87.3m goes towards core asset management in the rail industry.

Wilkie welcomed the New Zealand government’s acknowledgement that moving more freight on rail would be crucial to supporting the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.

“Investments like these are essential to building the capacity and efficiency of the rail freight network to meet rising demand safely and sustainably,” Wilkie said.

“New rollingstock and maintenance facilities will also support vital new jobs across the rail supply chain.”