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Work to revitalise Hillside underway


Plans to revitalise KiwiRail's Hillside workshops have taken a significant step forward with the demolition of disused and dilapidated buildings on the site underway.

Last year the Government announced a $19.97 million investment through the Provincial Growth Fund that has allowed KiwiRail to begin redeveloping the Dunedin site.

"Demolishing some of the existing buildings is the first step in doing this, and contractors have begun work on the site, taking down two vacant workshops," says KiwiRail Group General Manager Property Stephanie Campbell.

"These buildings were at the end of their lives.

"The demolition is expected to take around two months.

"We are using a certified company for asbestos decontamination associated with the demolition. All of the asbestos removal works are being undertaken in line with existing legislation and guidance.

"The next step is to upgrade the main rail workshops on the site, including overhauling the aging heavy-lift crane and traverser.

"The planned improvements for the site will allow us to maintain more locomotives and wagons, as well as undertaking new types of work, such as heavy maintenance and upgrades.

"Hillside will become a vital part of KiwiRail's South Island freight and tourism operations.

"In the next three years we expect to create about 40 new jobs at Hillside, including skilled mechanical and electrical positions.

"Demolishing the buildings also opens the way for Hillside to become a centre for engineering excellence in the South Island by attracting complementary businesses such as manufacturing, fabrication and potentially marine engineering to the site."

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