KiwiRail spend: Hundreds of new locomotives to replace 'tired and worn-out' stock

The government has revealed more details of its billion-dollar KiwiRail spend, with hundreds of new locomotives and container wagons coming down the tracks.

A $1 billion investment in New Zealand's rail network was announced as part of last month's Budget.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones announced more details on the boost to rail this morning.

They said KiwiRail will be replacing and repurposing old and outdated stock, with more than 100 new locomotives and 900 new container wagons to be ordered.

Mr Peters said the government was addressing three decades of under-investment in the rail system.

"Part of the funding package will go towards replacing the tired and worn-out 50 year old locomotives in the South Island. We've kick-started the replacement process for more than 100 locomotives. New locomotives mean more reliable services and less maintenance costs.

"In addition, 900 flat-top container wagons will be replaced with new, larger ones in our busiest corridors, giving KiwiRail a more competitive freight service," Winston Peters said.

Mr Jones said on top of the Budget's $300 million for regional rail, the Provincial Growth Fund has already given $183 million to rail to create growth in the regions.

"We've re-opened the Napier to Wairoa line, which will be crucial for the local forestry sector and is expected to replace 15,000 truck journeys each year on the region's roads, making them safer and reducing wear and tear."

Kiwirail's Chinese made locomotive. Source: 1 NEWS

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