“The Government has proved that sometimes electric doesn’t cut it and you just need a diesel,” says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.
“In Written Questions from the ACT Party, Transport Minister Michael Wood said “the new mainline locomotives KiwiRail is purchasing through the last three Budgets are mainly for use in the South Island, which does not have electrified rail infrastructure.”
“Instead, the new trains which are part of the Government’s $722.7 million investment will be diesel.
“Just like the Government being unable to electrify its rail network, not all New Zealanders are able to use electric vehicles. Tradies and Farmers need a ute to do their jobs.
“The Government should learn from this and cut New Zealanders some slack. ACT has had more than 15,000 signatures on our petition to stop the car tax. ACT is listening.”
Written Parliamentary Question:
Portfolio: Transport (Hon Michael Wood)
Question: How many, if any, of the locomotives being purchased using the $722.7 million announced from budget 2021 will be fully electric?
Reply: The new mainline locomotives KiwiRail is purchasing through the last three Budgets are mainly for use in the South Island, which does not have electrified rail infrastructure. These locomotives will be diesels - which will be fuel efficient. Diesel trains already have 70 per cent fewer emissions per tonne of freight carried, compared to road transport. As part of the rolling stock programme KiwiRail is investing in fully electric shunt engines for use in its rail yards. The Government has also invested $35 million to refurbish and extend the life of KiwiRail's electric (locomotives), which are used on the North Island Main Trunk line between Hamilton and Palmerston North. The Government is also investing $371 through NZUP to extend the electrified rail line in Auckland from Papakura to Pukekohe. This will see the existing diesel shuttle service between Papakura and Pukekohe replaced by the electric Auckland Metro commuter trains.