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Refurbishment of Wellington rail carriages begins

Refurbishment of Wellington rail carriages to begin

Greater Wellington Regional Council, Toll NZ Limited (the owners of TranzMetro Wellington) and Transfund today announced the first steps to upgrading the Wellington region’s ageing rail system.

“I am very pleased to announce that Greater Wellington, Toll NZ and Transfund have agreed to fund a limited refurbishment of 36 English Electric cars running on the Johnsonville and Melling lines,” said Margaret Shields, Chairperson of the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

“This is the first real progress on improving our rail system for many years, and it is the first step towards a longer-term plan to upgrade and improve our rail system. Because it takes at least three years to build new units we need to give ourselves some breathing space to put in place a long-term programme for upgrading and replacing rolling stock across the passenger system.”

Ross Hayward, National Passenger Manager for Toll NZ said that the refurbishment was limited to improving passenger comfort and the interiors of the units.

“This is an interim measure that will extend the life of the units by around three years. It will include work on the bodywork, repainting the exteriors, new carpet and repairs to the interiors. The work will be done in Wellington, and we hope to have the programme underway within two to three months.”

Ms Shields said that the agreement to refurbish the English Electric units was the result of a productive partnership between Greater Wellington, Toll NZ and Transfund.

“Greater Wellington, Toll NZ and Transfund have worked closely to develop the refurbishment package. We have agreed to share the cost of the $5.4 million project, with Toll Holdings funding 50% of the cost, Transfund 30% and Greater Wellington 20%.”

Transfund chair Dr Jan Wright said she was pleased agreement had been reached on the refurbishment project.

“Transfund agreed to fund this project because it was essential to keeping Wellington’s passenger rail system functioning in the short term. The limited refurbishment of the oldest cars in the system will gives time to consider best long-term options for the future of the passenger rail network.”

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