Wairarapa and Kāpiti Councillors welcome rail asset investment from Government
Greater Wellington Councillors from Wairarapa and Kāpiti welcomed news today that the Government is investing $1.3 billion in the national rail network over the next three years.
Deputy Chair of Greater Wellington and Wairarapa Councillor Adrienne Staples says the investment news comes at a crucial time with the regional council preparing its business case for new inter-regional trains.
“We’ve been putting together a business case for new trains that will see more services, more capacity and more connections for people in the Wairarapa so this news comes at a very important time for our part of the region. It’s fantastic to hear that the government is focused on future growth and putting in place the infrastructure to support that,” says Cr Staples.
Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils secured $5m in funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to pursue a detailed business case, and commence procurement for regional trains which if delivered would prevent passengers from being packed like sardines within the next five years. The procurement of the new trains which are expected to cost approximately $300m will bring greater capacity and frequency to a creaking inter-regional network. The options being explored in the business case will align with Greater Wellington’s Long Term Plan which will mean fully decarbonised trains across the whole Metlink network and through to the Wairarapa and to Palmerston North.
Greater Wellington Environment Committee Chair and Kāpiti Councillor Penny Gaylor says the investment is a real win for passengers and the environment.
“I know people in Kāpiti would love to see further connections beyond Waikanae in the future. In the meantime it’s encouraging to see the alignment of Government spending with Greater Wellington’s clear commitment to the environment and decarbonisation. How this investment is realised remains to be seen, but with the Government signalling further electrification and Greater Wellington’s business case for new battery-enabled trains connecting Wellington to Palmerston North, the future is bright” says Cr Gaylor.