24 Nov 2008

Mainfreight to push for shifting freight onto rail

8:53 am on 24 November 2008

Mainfreight is keen for the new government to continue the momentum of shifting more freight off roads, and onto rail.

The previous Labour-led government bought the train and ferry services from Toll Holdings for $690 million in July.

Mainfreight has negotiated with KiwiRail access to a number of rail yards, which managing director Don Braid allows it to compete fairly with its Australian rival, Toll.

National was critical of the government's investment in rail, but Mr Braid said he is keen to point out the benefits of more government investment in the trains and network.

He said the company wants to see the momentum continued to move more freight on rail.

Last week, Mainfreight's underlying half year profit rose by a tenth to $17.2m, thanks to acquisitions in the US and Australia, and a focus on building market share in all markets.