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Downer NZ, a subsidiary of Downer, Australia, was awarded the contract through an open tender, with national railway KiwiRail saying it received no wholly-New Zealand-owned bids for the contract.
“The tender evaluation team was unanimous in recommending negotiations for a final contract continue with Downer,” says KiwiRail CEO, Mr Greg Miller. “In both non-price and commercial attributes, Downer was ahead.”
The projects in the Auckland Metro Rail programme include:
The electrification between Papakura and Pukekohe will be delivered by eTRACS, a consortium of McConnell Dowell and John Holland, while the contract for the Drury stations is yet to be awarded. The wider network renewals funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) have already begun. This includes replacing 60km of rail, 75,000 sleepers and 125,000m3 of ballast.
The NZUP was launched by deputy prime minister, Mr Winston Peters and transport minister, Mr Phil Twyford at the Southdown rail terminal in Onehunga.
“The work will prepare the metro rail network for the expected start of the City Rail Link (CRL) in 2024, and to cope with demand for more freight and commuter services in New Zealand’s biggest city,” Miller says. “We’re already seeing around 22 million commuter trips annually in Auckland and that’s expected to grow.
“On the freight side, the 100km of track through Auckland carries a third of all freight in New Zealand. An estimated six million tonnes moves on the Auckland network each year and while that avoids more than 400,000 truck trips with a resulting reduction in road congestion and carbon emissions, it puts a great deal of pressure on the rail network. Having a third main line will significantly improve capacity and resilience.
“We’re pleased that the timing of these projects means that not only will new infrastructure prepare the network for growth, but the hundreds of additional jobs will also be an important boost to New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery.”
“Not only are we creating jobs, we are also making sure that commuter rail is in place to support urban growth south of Auckland,” Twyford says. “To reduce congestion and emissions we know trains need to be reliable and easy for people to access, and that’s what these upgrades will do.
“Building the third main rail line will remove a key bottleneck for freight and commuter services, as well as give more capacity for the increased services expected once the CRL is completed. The CRL along with the other upgrades will shave off up to an hour of the daily commute for thousands of people.”
An exclusive in-depth interview with Greg Miller on the growing investment in New Zealand’s rail network will appear in the October issue of IRJ.
The post Upgrade of Auckland network begins with development of third main line appeared first on International Railway Journal.
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