Wellington.scoop.co.nz » KiwiRail’s ‘kiss of death” for electrification of main trunk line
Media release “KiwiRail’s decision to switch from electric to diesel locomotives on the North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) from Te Rapa to Palmerston North could be the ‘kiss of death’ for long-term transition to a fully electrified NIMT.”
That is the opinion of four electrical and civil engineering and environmental experts: Dr Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders. They were responding to a report on Radio NZ on Thursday that, in a briefing to Ministers on 21 March, KiwiRail said it is continuing its work to decommission the electric locomotives fleet by April next year.
The KiwiRail decision to switch from electric to diesel locomotives on the NIMT involves retaining the electrified infrastructure required for electric trains on the NIMT, and keeping the lines maintained, inspected and energised, at an estimated cost of $2m-3m per year. This funding could be at risk from future budget cuts, which could jeopardise any future opportunity to electrify the whole NIMT. Wellington.scoop.co.nz » KiwiRail’s ‘kiss of death” for electrification of main trunk line