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Budget 2011 commits to rail turnaround

Budget 2011 commits to rail turnaround

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport

19 May 2011

Budget 2011 commits more than $338 million to improving commuter rail services and supporting KiwiRail to become more commercially viable.

A funding package of $88.4 million over eight years for Wellington commuter rail will help transform Wellington’s rail services, Transport Minister Steven Joyce says.

“This funding will go towards upgrading and renewing the remainder of the signalling and electric power equipment on the Wellington network.

“The Crown commitment, coupled with co-investment from the Greater Wellington Regional Council and previous investment from both parties, will transform the service into a modern reliable commuter option for Wellington.

“This work has been a long time coming and will go a long way towards easing the frustrations of commuters in our capital city,” Mr Joyce says.

The Budget also contains measures to help KiwiRail become a commercially viable rail freight business over 10 years.

KiwiRail receives the second $250 million tranche of the Government’s $750 million commitment to its Turnaround Plan over three years. The lion’s share of the $4.6 billion Turnaround Plan will be funded by KiwiRail itself from customer revenue during the 10 year plan. The money will be used to continue a range of projects, including new locomotives and wagons, and improvements to the network - particularly on the main trunk route and in the ‘golden triangle’ of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.

Mr Joyce says the Turnaround Plan is about helping KiwiRail to become a more viable nationwide freight participant.

“The $4.6 billion turnaround plan combined with investment in the Auckland and Wellington commuter networks means the government is now overseeing a $7 billion investment in rail.

“This is a huge commitment. We are determined to improve the rail freight network, provide KiwiRail with the opportunity to become commercially viable and support the provision of modern, reliable commuter rail services in Wellington and Auckland.”

ENDS

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