KiwiRail welcomes Northland rail business case
01 June 2018
KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy has welcomed the Government’s decision to investigate the potential for upgrading and expanding rail north of Auckland.
The initiative was announced today by the Ministers of Transport and Regional Development as part of a package of Provincial Growth Fund improvements to help Northland’s economic and social growth.
“We are looking forward to participating in the business case process. As the Government has indicated, KiwiRail has the ability to drive economic growth in the regions through our freight network, world-class tourism services and the passenger services we enable,” says Mr Reidy.
“Using rail also delivers a range of significant benefits including reducing carbon emissions and road congestion, making our roads safer, lowering spending on road maintenance and upgrades, and reducing fatalities.
“Every tonne of freight carried by rail is a 66% emissions saving over heavy road freight.
“Northland’s rail lines are under-used and much of the rail infrastructure is old, reducing the speed at which trains can travel. The tunnels are not fit for purpose when it comes to container freight and considerable investment is needed to bring the rail line up to modern standards.
“If it proceeds, this work will allow for faster trains, larger modern sized containers and tourism services.”
KiwiRail currently runs one weekday return service to Auckland on the line predominantly carrying dairy and forestry.