5 Jul 2011

Wellington rail package approved

9:18 pm on 5 July 2011

A $168 million package to make further improvements to Wellington's beleaguered rail network has been signed off.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce and representatives from the Wellington regional council and KiwiRail on Tuesday formalised the agreement, which also restructures the commuter service.

The council took ownership from KiwiRail of 44 Ganz Mavag commuter trains and all but one of the network's stations.

KiwiRail will remain the operator of the trains, while the Government will retain ownership of the tracks.

The package includes $88 million of Government money to catch up on work needed to improve the network's reliability.

The council is to pay $80 million to refurbish the 30-year-old Ganz Mavag trains.

More than $500 million has already been spent upgrading the network.