Key decisions were taken on Te Huia on Friday 26th May. There's good news and bad news for regional rail in the Upper North Island. Read on for the detail...
Great news on balance! Pray that Simeon Brown doesn’t get his hands on the transport portfolio …
Yes, that is good news that Waikato Regional Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
submit a Detailed Business Case for the Te Huia Rolling Stock Replacement,
to commence within the 2023-24 financial year subject to funding availability
or otherwise funded in year one of the 2024-34 Long Term Plan.
This follows on directly from the announcement by the New Zealand Government in late April of funding for a fleet of new tri-mode trains for the Lower North Island to replace ageing Capital Connection and Wairarapa Line rolling stock and significantly improve train services.
Thanks for the update Darren. In the last 10 days I've travelled a number of times on the sort of trains we need in New Zealand - bi- or tri-mode trains that use electricity when "under the wires", and using diesel engines when there are no wires. Example: Nantes to Bordeaux in western France, a trip of four hours in a superbly comfortable, fully accessible train that I didn't even realise was bi-mode until I heard the (very quiet) diesel engines start up about an hour into the journey.
Darren, you wrote "But the Government’s recent announcement of the further rail electrification, including between Pukekohe and Hamilton and Hamilton to Tauranga...". Wasn't that just funding for a business case? We need the actual electrification completed ASAP, but isn't there every possibility that a National-ACT or even a Labour government could delay the project for a decade or more, once they see how many $billions it'll cost? Or am I missing some other announcement?