Greater Wellington welcomes rail asset investment from Government
Greater Wellington welcomed news today that the Government is investing $1.3 billion in the national rail network over the next three years.
Chair of Greater Wellington Daran Ponter says the investment news comes at a crucial time with the regional council preparing its business case for new inter-regional trains.
"It's great to see the Government putting real value back into rail network assets. We need resilient rail corridors to get value out of the new rolling stock that Greater Wellington and Horizons are planning to introduce. There's no point having fancy new trains connecting more passengers in the Lower North Island if they are being held up by the same creaking rails and signals.
It's encouraging that the Government are looking at options for how the rail network can best support decarbonisation of transport systems, with further electrification of the rail itself and through our business case for new rolling stock which will feature battery-enabled trains connecting Wellington to Palmerston North," says Cr Ponter
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 Transport Committee Chair Roger Blakeley says the investment is a real win for passengers and the environment.
"Some of these actions will remove the smaller stones in the shoe that will make journeys pleasant in the short term which is great for passengers. We can also see that there's a broader commitment from the Government to sustainable growth that not only takes population trends into account but how we minimise the impact on the environment too," says Cr Blakeley.
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