Freight transport by rail in New Zealand is in good health. The network has four main lines, several secondary and minor connections in almost all regions.
Around 19 million net tons are transported annually by rail, 95% is export and import traffic with connections to ports. Due to the important relevance it has in national transport, the Government has included in the 2019 budget items to introduce improvements in the network, since the volume of movement of products and raw materials has continued to rise in recent years.
“PALMERSTON NORTH FREIGHT HUB” FREIGHT CENTRE
One of the main initiatives is the launch of a freight rail centre near Palmerston North, the Manawatu-Wanganui region. This project, called “Palmerston North freight hub” endowed with an investment of 40 million New Zealand dollars (22.9 million euros) from the Government Provincial Growth Fund. In this way we want to respond to the potential growth of rail traffic in this area, since these volumes are expected to increase by 60% over the next 20 years.
MODERNISATION OF THE WHANGANUI RAILWAY (FREIGHT)
The improvement of the Whanganui-Castlecliff railway line will receive a three million New Zealand dollar (1.7 million euros) allocation. With this project, 6,250 lorries will be removed from the roadways and 563 tons of carbon dioxide will no longer be emitted.
This area is an enclave of special importance for the freight exports of the country.
NAPIER LINE TO WAIROA
KiwiRail will reopen the Napier to Wairoa railway line in order to reduce the traffic of trucks transporting timber in the region. The reconstruction of this branch is necessary after the severe damage suffered by storms in 2012.
The relaunch of this route is bolstered by revenue from the Provincial Growth Fund. After its reopening, it is expected that by 2032/2034 the figure of 44 million tons transported by rail will be