In the government’s budget last month, they allocated $450 million to Kiwirail over the next two years

$450 million of that funding will be invested in KiwiRail over the next two financial years.

“KiwiRail has achieved significant productivity and efficiency improvements over the past two years, despite the challenges of the November 2016 earthquake and the Midland Line fire,” Mr Bridges says.

“Budget 2017 investment in New Zealand’s rail infrastructure and systems will ensure that KiwiRail can improve its resilience and reliability, while continuing to support tourism, freight and export industries.

At the time I was surprised there was no information about just what that $450 million would be spent on. The government did say that it would go towards providing Kiwirail with funding for restoring the line around Kaikoura following the quake last year while they wait for their insurance claim to be finalised. However, at least most of that that would surely be freed up again once the insurance funds were received.

So, I was interested to know where the money would be spent. At the time we didn’t know about the Third Main business case and I was interested to see if the funding would go towards that critical project. So I asked Kiwirail what the money would be used for. Last week they finally got back to me. Here’s what their spokesperson told me. There’s nothing that particularly stands out but seeing as they provided the info, I thought I might as well share it.

The capital provided in the Budget will be invested to ensure we meet our health and safety obligations for staff, customers and the public.

It will be split between multiple network renewals and improvements, and replacement of rolling stock.

The capital spending we will undertake is another step in ensuring our focus is on the refurbishment of our assets so we can continue to enable New Zealand’s economic growth and meet the country’s tourism needs.

Major network projects in FY18 include:

  • completing year two of the three year upgrade of the communications system on the main trunk
  • completing year three of five in the upgrade of the Kaimai tunnel
  • repairs to the Otira tunnel (used by the Tranz Alpine)
  • replacement of a further five bridges
  • track signals and other works across the network as a whole

The rolling stock projects include a wide variety of assets, including locomotives and wagons, and major refurbishments of the plant and facilities needed for ongoing maintenance.

Some of the wagons and locomotives being replaced are more than 50 years old.

We will modernise a number of KiwiRail sites, with infrastructure improvements, maintenance and IT solutions.

I’m guessing the locomotives being replaced will include replacing the electric ones that run through the central North Island, something which Radio NZ reported yesterday would generate more carbon dioxide than is saved by the more than 3,000 electric cars currently on New Zealand’s roads.

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  1. When are the new loco’s due to be ordered/delivered? Is it something that a new incoming government can cancel? I think it has got to be one of the most stupid plans I have heard to replace clean more effective electric loco’s with dirty, more expensive, less effective, slower diesel locos.
    At worst they should buy some dual mode (diesel+electic) locos, at best they should electrify Papakura-Hamilton-Tauranga (and probably Palmerston North-Paraparaumu) and get new electric locos.
    Auckland-Wellington can be done about about 1 hour quicker than diesel (in the currently planned configuration) if it was electrified the whole way and would produce far less pollution and use NZ produced renewable electricity rather than expensive imported diesel.

        1. In fairness I don’t think Toll or Mainfreight make public announcements when they buy new trucks.

        2. You don’t think that listed companies tell their shareholders how they plan to operate?

        3. But Toll and Mainfreight aren’t owned by the NZ public (as far as I know). Whereas Kiwirail are – I’m just a little surprised that a decision to spend around $56 million would have been kept quiet from the NZ public for 4 months.

          “KiwiRail is a statutory corporation operating as a single entity with multiple business units” Their website notes that:
          “Although KiwiRail is a State-Owned Enterprise and therefore subject to the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986, and the New Zealand Railways Corporation Act 1981, it is not a company under the Companies Act.” and

          “The State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 recognises that an State-Owned Enterprise may have non-commercial roles, but requires Ministers to enter into an agreement with the State-Owned Enterprise to pay for any goods or services that they wish a State-Owned Enterprise to provide to any person.”

          If we are indeed, the second-least shonky nation in the world, would you not have thought this factoid would have come out in public before December? Or did I just miss it?

        4. It looks like it’s just that you missed it, Guy – the media release is dated August 2016, i.e. they made a public announcement when the locos were ordered.

    1. In theory it would be good to buy bi-mode locos, but unfortunately a powerful enough beast that suits NZ’s loading gauge and axle-weight limit doesn’t (yet) exist.

    1. Agreed Patrick,

      But, every trainload of containers – even if Diesel powered – removes a sh*t load of containers off the road all carried by truck.

      So KRs claim that it results in lower Greenhouse gases is technically true, even if a little specious when used in connection with existing Electric locos.

      However, how many orders of magnitude of those “CO2 busting 3000 EVs” have been displaced already by the Kaikoura Earthquakes causing KR to have to have rail freight hauled on a fleet of trucks from Blenheim south to Christchurch [and points beyond] and v.v.?

      And how much more CO2 equivalents will be racked up by the time the tracks become fully operational again?

      So if KR had to make a decision as which issue to tackle first – repair the Kaikoura tracks pronto or sort out their allegedly unreliable NIMT trains, certainly fixing the tracks in the South Island are the “must do first” option.

      Which is what they are attending to.

      Afterwards, they can sort out the future of the NIMT trains. Hopefully by then we’ll have proper Ministers of Transport, Finance and Economic Development who will put KR back on a firmer, longer term footing and ensure it replaces the old Electrics with newer ones with more capabilities. Even if they cost a little more.

      Even if they actually order new Diesel locos to replace the Electric EFs they can either retire many of those 50+ year old diesel dungers KR seem to have screeds of around the place.

      Or worst case, if stuck with those new high powered diesels, have a proper locomotive builder like CRRC upgrade the supply contract so that they are dual mode capable [both overhead Electric and Diesel/Electric powered], so that they be used equally on the Tauranga line as they can on the NIMT north or south of Hamilton. Including lines in the South Island.

      Making lemonade out of lemons.

      KR has without a doubt made a bad decision with the EF loco retirement/diesel replacement, but they have made the right call over prioritising the South Island Main Trunk repairs.

      I’ve said before, KR is like a battered spouse, constantly living in fear of triggering the next outburst from the abusive Ministers that control its life on a day to day basis.
      Net effect it ends up doing almost nothing positive to help itself in case it causes yet another outburst.

      Time for a permanent separation between KR and the current Government I think.
      Until at least, we get a newer, more sensible crop of ministers in it, that is.

      1. “upgrade the supply contract so that they are dual mode capable”

        No amount of contract upgrading is going to make those locomotives dual mode. It’s not technically feasible as I noted in another thread.

  2. I had the joy of taking the Northern Explorer south on Saturday – all the way from Hamilton down to Wellington. A dreary, wet, rainy day throughout most of the island, but made very pleasurable from the excellent staff and service provided by the crew and the KiwiRail locos. Having written about the need to electrify the NIMT a few months ago, having now done the trip again, I’m more convinced than ever that it would be the right thing to do. It is a brilliant trip – pulled by diesel locos the whole way of course – which was made more incongruous by travelling beneath a row of posts supporting electric wires almost the entire way on my trip south. Yes, I got on in Hamilton (I know – a weekend in H Town – the excitement knows no bounds!) and so I missed the electricless section between Papakura and the Te Rapa flats, but seriously – this electrification thing is a simple issue, or so it seems to a rank outsider like myself.

    The section of rail south of Hamilton was taken rather slowly, not sure for what reasons, but perhaps the rail base is a little less than rock solid, but the train slowly weaves its way through some magnificent scenery. The area through the gorge near Te Awamutu is incredible – weird geological formations that I was truly expecting to see dwarves and orcs come marauding out of any second, or prehistoric dinosaurs, or both. No reason we couldn’t have been on electric locos there – and we passed a couple of electric locos pulling freight trains. We stopped for two periods of about 10 minutes, so there is no reason why we couldn’t have changed to an EF instead of the twin DL. The fastest part was south of Raurimu – we barrelled along at a good clip, and judging by the cars on the highway nearby, about 80kmph. Standing on the outside experience deck (or what ever it is called) you don’t really get much sense of a diesel, apart from the thunderous roar of the engines and a slight whiff of diesel of course. Luckily, not whole mouthfuls. But the freight trains we passed was dead silent. Wheels rolling, but as an electric, no noise of course. Clearly a very superior source of power.

    It is interesting, of course, that the diesels are really electric trains at heart. I’ve learnt a lot about trains since I wrote that piece, one thing of which is that the diesel engine exists purely to spin the turbine, which generates the electricity, which powers the train. Massively cheaper just to get the power straight from the lines above of course, which all looked to be in excellent condition from what I could see. Nothing rusty or tatty. Also – AC or DC? Again, not really an issue there, as the loco transforms from one form to another (AC lines in Auckland and on the NIMT) so that it can drive the wheels via DC. Multi-fuel, multi-current locos are easily procurable and not really that hard to make, especially seeing as a lot of the equipment is on board the locos anyway.

    It is such a simple thing to do – Mr Bridges and Mr Reidy, if you are reading this – please rethink. Just order new Electric-powered locomotives instead of Diesels. You know it makes sense.

      1. How do you like your cancer? Diesel fumes, asbestos, dodgy chemicals etc

        [Edited to remove the racism. If it continues we will take action]

        1. I guess they aren’t dodgy and aren’t made in a particular country then? *the mind boggles at the level of protection from calling a spade a spade*

      2. Hopefully not, but good point: buying a cheap Chinese loco at – what was it? $25 million each, then spending millions more to remove all signs of Asbestos cost millions more, plus they are, allegedly, pretty rubbish for a new machine, as they break down fairly regularly. Yes, so do the Electric locos, but that’s because they haven’t had the proper upkeep or upgrades that would extend their life. The electric loco is inherently simpler, as there is less to go wrong and less exposed to the elements. Running costs are at least 50% cheaper for the owner, which is of course two-fold: both Kiwirail and its owner: the great New Zealand public.

        1. All locos since (and including) the DF had reliability issues until they were bedded in (process, machinery, maintenance). This is normal for new loco classes. Incidentally, each DL loco costs under $4M, based upon the first order (20 units for $75M). Incidentally the DF loco was considered a lemon until being upgraded (with a turbo) to be the DFT…

          Though the union states the failure rate to be every 20-30,000 KM, on 31 July 2012 KiwiRail announced that the fleet achieved its highest mean distance between failures (MDBF) rating, outperforming the DX class locomotives by 3000 km.

          With regard to asbestos – $12M (and counting)… I hope that gets billed back to the supplier!

          If you want to pick on the reliability, just remember that the engine is German the traction motor is Chinese – Which breaks down most often?

        2. Yes – thanks JK – i was completely wrong on the $24m each figure – as MFD points out below, the cost is something like $3.75m each (2010 prices).

      3. I’m not sure I really care whether the locomotives are made in USA, China, or Iran – all I want NZ to buy is an electric locomotive that is quality and won’t break down. It is interesting looking at the list of manufacturing countries on Wikipedia –

        Most countries have a list of builders, and most are now defunct – America still has by far the biggest, while China has only one listed – CRRC – as it swallowed up all the opposition and they just make and market as one. What Zespri is to Kiwifruit, CRRC is to Locos.

    1. @ Guy M: Excellent observations from a self-confessed “rank outsider”. A fresh pair of eyes that can see the obvious, unlike some who are so focussed on the trees that they can no longer see the wood!

      One minor correction however: “the diesel engine exists purely to spin the turbine, which generates the electricity, which powers the train.”. This is not how it is.
      What actually happens is that the diesel engine turns the generator via a direct mechanical coupling. There is no turbine, except for a small one in the turbo-charger which is not part of the main drive-train, and not all locomotives have one anyway.

      1. Thanks Dave – I stand corrected. Yes, I think I was probably thinking of the Brits with their intercity 125s, where the diesel spins a turbine? So the generator just gets spun directly by the mechanical coupling to the engine – sounds just like a tractor with a power take-off connection, like i used to drive on the farm? But hopefully a bit more sophisticated than that?

        1. No, the British IC125’s also have a direct drive to the main alternator (not a d.c. generator, which is older technology). You may be thinking of the original experimental Advanced Passenger Train (APT-E) which had a gas turbine powering it.

          The standard power unit for most diesel locomotives is a diesel-engine with a main generator or main alternator bolted on the end of it, and driven directly from the crankshaft. Physically the combination is a single entity and when the engine is lifted out the generator comes with it.

          The whole idea is that the electrical transmission between the engine and the wheels offers a better way of controlling the power to the wheels, than other transmission systems such as diesel-hydraulic using a torque-converter (less-common), or diesel-mechanical with fluid-coupling and gearbox (tend only to be used on lightweight shunting tractors, less-advanced DMU’s etc).

    2. Those travelling on the Northern Explorer don’t seem to have any say on the preferred motive power, it would be a nice way of letting KR know how much we appreciate the stunning countryside the train runs through by reminding them the NZ clean green image is not helped by using air polluting diesel traction when perfectly good clean electric traction is available and preferable.

  3. I just Hope Miss Thomson is somewhat successful with her challenge against the NZ government on climate change. I saw the old doco by Al Gore the inconvenient truth for the second time and this was produced in 2005 and so till now not much action . The Government still carries on with still more road building all over the place to encourage more fossil fuel consumption. I loved the quote in a previous post’ if your stuck in congestion take the train don’t like the rain then put up with the hold up but keep your mouth closed’ or something like that. How many third main lines and rail to the airport could be build for the same value at the east west link. Let justice be done in favour of Miss Thomson.

  4. So 15 DL locos ordered for delivery sometime in 2018, 6 of these for the Ak to Tauranga freight leaving 9 for deployment in North Island.
    Also KR say some of the locos being replaced are over 50 years old so this must be referring to more of the DC types as DF and DX are still going through update process.
    This leaves the 17 or 18 active EF electric loco fleet. Have KR stated that this order of new DLs actually include enough to replace the EF fleet?
    I think the issue of the EFs being replaced is not yet finalised, there is still some political mileage to run yet

    1. “the issue of the EFs being replaced is not yet finalised, there is still some political mileage to run yet…..”
      Well, IF Labour and Greens were to get in, I’m sure there would be a different outcome.

      But with Mr English still in charge, I’m not so sure. The only reason he is agreeing to diesel trains is because the roads are already full of diesel trucks.

      It is certainly a political decision. China have effectively said to us – we buy your milk powder, you buy our heavy equipment. We’re locked into that. And we don’t, really, buy much industrial kit from USA any more. Cars? Nope. Locos? Nope. Battery-powered thingamies? Nope. All, increasingly, China. But there is nothing to say we can’t buy electric locos from China instead of diesel locos.

      Perhaps naively, I have hope and faith in Mr Bridges. As long as he doesn’t screw up as monumentally as Todd Barclay, he will be around for a lot longer than Bill English…

      1. shhh you aren’t allowed to name a certain communist country in any sort of way that calls into question anything they do…

        1. What you may notice is that Guy M has managed to criticise the National party’s relationship with China without resorting to racial slurs and vilification, perhaps certain not so communist commenters could learn a thing from Guy M.

        2. When have I ever used a racial slur about Chinese other than to point out that they have high levels of corruption (and that there have been many cases of Chinese arriving here that have been sent packing for it but that is just the tip of the iceberg), or that they receive preferential immigration status under this government due to the favouring of dependant child (China’s one child policy means the child has been able to bring in the parents in the past more easily since they are the only one), or that the government has done worse than nothing about the problem of foreign investment in NZ property (particularly Auckland) and that around the world incl NZ the largest increase in foreign cash has come out of China (to the tune of trillions of dollars – you can check that if you like it’s all out there), or that where I drive I see Chinese (well according to the statistics on the area I’m driving through it has majority Chinese residents) who I observe almost all leaving their driveway at the same time each morning in SUVs with kids taking them around the corner to school (which is a 5 minute walk at most but a 15 minute drive due to the congestion they are causing – no congestion on that road during school holidays btw).
          And that they have been one of the 2 largest sources of immigrants (fact) in the past decade (most of which settle in Auckland – also fact).

        3. I’m not sure that it is just the National government who is in the pocket of the Chinese government – effectively it is the entire New Zealand economy. As I’m sure AKL dude knows, virtually everything that isn’t grown here is imported, and the majority of our imported goods comes from the 2nd largest economy in the world. America (increasingly so now) is too inward focused, while China knows that it is in the position to cement its role as Maker of Everything to the World. It used to be just cheap plastic goods – now it is increasingly capable of making decent cars, trucks, planes, trains etc – eventually every business will fall to the power of their economic machine.

          No different really from when Britain ruled the world some 167 years ago. The really interesting thing will be to see who takes over from the Chinese – logically, it could be either India or somewhere in Africa, it has to be somewhere with masses of cheap labour and skills. But probably neither of those has the central controlling government that China has. For instance, take CRRC – from what I understand, there were two large competing companies in China both making Locomotives. Vast, huge companies, both competing. This competition was seen as unhelpful by the Chinese government, who ordered them to merge, pronto. And so they did. And now they can crush all the little minnows in places like Europe – there is a massive, MASSIVE restructuring going on in heavy engineering, worldwide, and only the largest companies will survive. Europe and America still believe in competition – and unless they install trade walls (as Trump wants to do), they will probably be crushed too.

          We….. we live in interesting times.

        4. “(well according to the statistics on the area I’m driving through it has majority Chinese residents) ”

          No neighbourhood in any New Zealand town or city is majority Asian, let alone majority Chinese.

          There is also more foreign money coming in from Australia or the UK then from China

          Far more immigrants in the last decade have come from the United Kingdom than from China.

          So it sounds like you should really have a bigger problem with British immigrants like me. Maybe my skin is the right colour though.

        5. Not far more – these are the residency figures; it swapped from GB to China in 2012.

          Fin Year Approvals
          2006/07 5846 China
          2006/07 12273 Great Britain
          2007/08 6070 China
          2007/08 10030 Great Britain
          2008/09 6790 China
          2008/09 8641 Great Britain
          2009/10 5909 China
          2009/10 7773 Great Britain
          2010/11 5262 China
          2010/11 6549 Great Britain
          2011/12 5412 China
          2011/12 6032 Great Britain
          2012/13 5794 China
          2012/13 5184 Great Britain
          2013/14 7488 China
          2013/14 5160 Great Britain
          2014/15 7305 China
          2014/15 4549 Great Britain
          2015/16 9360 China
          2015/16 4934 Great Britain
          2016/17 7295 China
          2016/17 4183 Great Britain
          note figures for 2016/17 are for 11 months only – still waiting for the latest data to be released.
          Maybe interesting to discover how many returned after getting residency – I haven’t a clue.

      2. China has also said not to have a inquiry into the quality of their steel or there will be consequences as Fonterra and Zespri have found out.
        Being almost totally reliant on China means toeing their political line.
        Make too much noise about their illegal activities in the South China Sea and see what happens.

        1. Not sure how accurate that statement is, however in the end its always been up to the importers and installers to check the quality of steel. This is done through testing at both ends. In construction, test certification and mill certifications are needed to be provided to get sign-off (for larger projects). For general low level, low risk housing they are most likely heading in this direction to.

        1. Yes they funded the infrastructure but not the trains or depot which Auckland has to pay back a loan for. However the first tranche of new Matangi electric trains in Wellington were fully paid for by the government.

    1. This was separate sum of $98 million and is earmarked for completing the upgrade of the (now non-KiwiRail) Wellington passenger rail system.

    2. Yep, about $90 million apparently. Still leaves $360m. Although, if that is 15 diesel locos at $24m each, then that takes it to $360m, so there is no money for anything else.

        1. MFD – my apologies. Figure came from my memory – I’m happy if I’m wrong.
          So – $56million purchase cost, leaving $304 million. Excellent! Thanks MFD.

        2. Won’t take much to spend $304m on a few bridges and signalling. Also I believe KiwiRail journeys are ordering new carriages.

      1. No the $450 is separate from the Wellington stuff, total capital spend for rail committed to in the budget (not CRL related) was $540m

  5. KiwiRail just received delivery of 150 IAB wagons at Mount Manunganui. Most likely paid for from a previous budget or operational income.

    So irrelevant to money allocated from the latest budget.

    But going down the same path which may have more relevance… Southdown recently received a major upgrade on 35/36 roads for the metro port trains. Also, I believe from funds held for quite some years.

    Getting into it, Simon bridges must be unaware the third main construction actually begun in 2012(Old Up main outside Railweld remained, trackworks at Wiri, overhead portal third main allowance Wiri – Otahuhu) and planning begun when labour was still in power…. Although there has been refining of the planning.
    But it all stalled due to funding. Wasn’t AT expected by KR to cough up some funds to cover associated costs with the running of AT EMU’s on the third main, which AT would not commit to. From what I understand, KR has had the funds for the third main for quite some years. Wasn’t there also previous media coverage on this over the years? KR has an agreement with AT – from when Jim Quinn was CEO – giving them near exclusive running rights on any mainline heavy rail within the rail corridor owned by KiwiRail between Papakura – Swanson even if it is constructed after the agreement…. LOL (not funny at all is it). Hence why I believe it really stalled and is struggling to go anywhere. So in saying that, the recent mention of $58m to build the 3rd main, maybe solely the KR portion only? Who is responsible for the rest to allow the running of EMU’s on that section? AT, or KR who would charge more for access?

  6. So KR expected AT to contribute funds to cover costs of running EMUs on the third main? What would these costs be? can’t be tracks or signalling, maybe OLE as this is not needed for freight locos. I always thought the major issue was with Middlemore station needing rebuilt to allow 4 tracks regardless of whether EMUs used the 3rd or 4th main.
    So what exactly did AT refuse to pay for? If such a meagre CAPEX is needed for the 3rd main then would a pragmatic AT not see the greater value in having the 3rd main sooner rather than getting to a position of rail congestion as we get closer to the CRL.
    Perhaps the political bogey man is in the devil’s details of what is really going on. Maybe Simon will be the paladin to rescue it all but his price may be the EW link first.

    1. Why on earth should AT pay for tracks that will belong to kiwirail? Only to get charged access fees to use the exact tracks they paid for! A landlord wouldn’t expect a tenant to pay half of the cost of an extension to the rental home!

      1. I don’t believe AT should pay for tracks but what about the rebuilding of Middlemore station? the cost of OLE and additional grid feeder? since the OLE is only for AT. Is there a breakdown ofwhat the $58M is for?

        1. Kiwirail should pay the costs of rebuilding Middlemore too. It’s their network, which they lease use of to AT.

          I assume that Kiwirail will end up owning the CRL tracks with AT owning the stations (same as Northern Busway, and Manukau extension).

        2. Who pays for the longer bridges at Bridge St and St George St? How would they be constructed without closing the roads?

      2. @Sailor boy. Because KR is cash strapped, and more importantly, near exclusive access to the current Up and Down mainlines between Westfield and Wiri. KR would be giving up their own operational rights there resulting in benefits for AT. Or should AT pay much more for continued access?

        1. Additionally, it’s all very well to put this type of infrastructure in place. But it needs repetitive maintenance which also comes at great cost. I imagine access includes maintenance cost or is it or should it be a separate costing?

  7. Would be great if we saw the money allocated to specific projects. That way paying money to KiwiRail may be easier to justify politically.
    If KiwiRail really is able to meet its above-rail costs, then the money should be clearly related to infrastructure costs, for example. If it is for specific capital projects, these need to be clearly accounted for. Just throwing money at KiwiRail is not the most transparent process.

    1. Yes, but this fudging of opex and capex by the gov is intentional; it suits their angle that rail is a failing business and only exists out of their generousity. It is part of the case for their unbalanced and irrational transport policy.

  8. Hit the nail on the head there Grant. But most people in the public arena, even transport specialists may not understand how that has effected out rail system and any future projects…. I wonder, after the completion of the DART project and OLE in Auckland how many people know the real poor state of the network…

    Coming back on subject, I can imagine Middlemore being a rather moderate and time consuming project which could cost $10m’s. In fact, of that $58 I wouldn’t be surprised on little bit half of that amount covered the cost of a Middlemore rebuild. Which doesn’t leave very much for the rest of the project now does it!!! In fact I have a gut feeling $58m only covers roadbed formation and track only. Any signalling (if required) OLE, platform works will be additional. And off the top of my head, it was always rumoured to cost $100m for the full basic Monty incorporating EMU pax servicea(all stops passengers) and freight operations on the third main. Perhaps another $40m that KR do not have, nor can produce.

        1. Interesting you point that out. I went back over that business case(heavily retracted version…) and it seems you are right about the overhead. Yet the same report makes the point more than once that the 3rd main would isolate non etcs freight trains from emu etcs equipped freight trains. Which is a health and safety move. I was actually starting to think the 3rd main may be funded under health and safety grounds after KR’s response to Matt L in this post. But now you point that out perhaps not. And maybe the funding is actually there, but KR has not settled with AT on access arrangements.

  9. Matt L – has anyone actually asked KiwiRail if they have funds already set aside for the 3rd main Wiri – Westfield?

    1. Didn’t someone who seemed to be aware of KR’s plans state in this blog last year that KR would be starting work early next year (ie 2017) on 3rd main?
      Also that agreement with Middlemore hospital was in place for the car park building to the west of the station to be relocated/truncated. There was also something about the new station designed to accomodate four main lines.

      1. We were informed late last year by the CEO that work would begin this year. He never mentioned anything about a fourth main. From what I understand (yes hear say) there was infrastructure at Middlemore that needed relocation before anything at Middlemore could begin. I believe that has taken place, and was completed last year from what I observed between Middlemore and Papatoetoe.

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