It appears as though National has set aside the necessary funding for the below-track works in the 2009 Budget. Page 41 of the “Vote Transport” includes the following:
Now I’m a little confused by this. Is this $663 million just for ProjectDART activities (double-tracking of the Western Line and other rail upgrades that have been ongoing for years now)? Is it for the below-track upgrades necessary for electrification, which includes stringing up the wires and raising/lowering bridges or tracks where necessary? This money hasn’t been trumpeted much by the government in the budget either, which makes me suspicious.
What the money certainly isn’t, is sufficient funding to purchase the electric trains. Seems like Steven Joyce has a delusion that funding through Private-Public Partnerships might be a good idea. Experience suggests otherwise.