Kiwi Rail, on a Rebuild But Still Moves the Goods and Most Resilient Land Transport Option

Kiwi Rail on the up


The Kiwi Rail Briefing to the Ministers paints a picture of a troubled time for Kiwi Rail but also it worth in resilience and vital backbone as a transport link within New Zealand.

The BIM for Kiwi Rail is below:



Of most importance was this infographic:

Value of rail
Source: Kiwi Rail Briefing to Shareholding Ministers


Source: Kiwi Rail



Another way to look at it is that a single Metro Port (Tauranga-Auckland) train with one DL class locomotive with 50 wagons and 100 containers on those wagons removes 100 trucks off State Highways 1 and 29.


Rail is also up for major expansion as well under the Labour-led administration with the North Auckland Line due for a rebuild and the Marsden Point Branch Line also slated for construction soon. Transport Minister Phil Twyford has given his commitment for the Third Main to be built between Otahuhu and Papakura on Auckland’s Southern Line to detangle freight from passenger services.


Third Main OIA BCRs via Multi Criteria Analysis
Source: Kiwi Rail
Non redacted Business Case for the Third Main by Kiwi Rail
Third Main in Action at Otahuhu-Middlemore
Source: Kiwi Rail



Rail has also proved its resilience post natural disasters as well. After the Christchurch quakes the rail lines were quickly reopened allowing the freighting of goods into Christchurch marking the start of the rebuild while the roads were still pretty much out of action or at reduced capacity.

The Kaikoura/Wellington quake did knock out the rail line at Kaikoura but has been since reopened at a limited capacity freighting goods between Picton and Christchurch. The closure of the Line and State Highway One left freight having to use alternative road routes not designed for the loads. The reopening of the rail service was able to give relief to the inland routes until State Highway 1 is fully open again.

With Wellington the port was knocked out after the quake for some time. Rail was able to bring the goods up to Napier, Tauranga and Auckland for the coastal shipping then to take those goods originally at Wellington down to Christchurch – their original destination. There is no way the roading network would have coped with the amount of volume needed to shift that freight around.


Freight rail is also profitable with the freight division of Kiwi Rail producing an ~$90m profit last financial year.


Rail will also for the first time be eligble for the National Land Transport Fund for CAPEX investments.


Rail – our land backbone that has proven its resilience over and over again. Time to fund and treat it properly.