KiwiRail will receive $94 million for the 2013/14 financial year as part of the government’s ongoing commitment to the rail business’ Turnaround Plan.
The funding, announced as part of Budget 2013, will be used to buy new wagons and locomotives, and go towards track and infrastructure renewals.
The government has invested $750 million in the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan over the previous three Budgets 2010, 2011 and 2012 allowing KiwiRail to successfully undertake a significant investment programme including:
- new locomotives and refurbishment of current fleet
- increasing and improving wagon fleet
- Aratere Cook Strait ferry extension—creating 30 percent more capacity for rail and trucks and improving passenger facilities
- renewals and upgrades of the rail network to improve transit times, remove capacity constraints, improve reliability and continue to bring the national network to a sustainable level.
A Ministry of Transport commissioned review of the economic benefits from the government’s investment shows the rail business has achieved good freight volume growth with highlights of KiwiRail’s last two years under the Turnaround Plan including:
- A 16 percent increase in freight volumes, compared to growth in Gross Domestic Product of less than 5 percent over the same period.
- Core freight revenues have increased by 25 percent.
- Rail has assisted port aggregation by carrying cargo over longer distances to larger ports, which will be even more important if larger ships arrive, as they will call at fewer ports.
- On time performance for premium freight services and TranzMetro operation have both improved
- Positive results for KiwiRail have continued in the current financial year.
Other funding for Vote Transport from Budget 2013 includes:
- Additional funding of $14 million over 2013/14 and 2014/15 for the SuperGold Card off-peak public transport concession scheme
- $7.1 million of new funding across 2013/14 – 2015/16 for the construction of a new search and rescue satellite ground station
- $1.4 million of additional funding for the MetService during the 2013/14 financial year, to continue delivery of forecasting services
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