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An excellent week for New Zealand’s Rail Infrastructure

An excellent week for New Zealand’s Rail Infrastructure

For immediate release : Saturday 3rd November 2018

NZ Transport 2050 Inc fully supports the Government’s plan to keep the electric locomotives on the North Island Main Trunk.

A large percentage of the North Island rail network is already electrified so this move is critical for retaining the value of this significant infrastructure investment ($250M). This also helps the government deliver on its ambitious environmental goals.

Paul Miller, Chair of NZ Transport 2050 says “electric trains are proven cleaner and more efficient than the diesel locomotives that were previously being proposed. The engines being used are of a family of units also used for moving cars through the Channel Tunnel so certainly designed for extended life. This initiative, as well as the Marsden point extension, makes for an excellent week for New Zealand’s rail network”.

NZ Transport 2050 now encourages the Government to step up and prove it truly wants to reduce carbon emissions and fund completing the electrification between Pukekohe (Auckland) to Hamilton, the Kaimai tunnel to Tauranga. “On top of the environmental benefits the Kaimai tunnel’s current capacity restraints could be maximised by upgrading the line to electric, further expanding the life of the forty-year-old tunnel” Miller added. “What would be great to see next is the government expanding Auckland’s rail network directly to Auckland Airport and Mangere, leveraging the significant investment that is occurring with the CRL and avoiding the slow tram overspend which has already seen forecast costs double since 2016.”


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