KiwiRail Rollingstock

KiwiRail Rollingstock

KiwiRail will upgrade its fleet of rollingstock on both the North and South Islands. 

The upgrade program will see: 

  • all 65 mainline locomotives and 50 shunt locomotives on the South Island replaced
  • 1,900 new South Island wagons 
  • replacement of the North Island fleet 
  • a European Train Control System (ETCS) installed in Auckland
  • upgrades to major maintenance depots at Hutt and Waltham, and 
  • construction of a wagon assembly facilities at Hillside Workshops.

As per the allocation in 2019-20 New Zealand Budget, this project will include replacing 900 container wagons and starting to replace the fleet of 48 South Island locomotives and some shunt engines belonging to KiwiRail rollingstock.

It is intended that 57 new locomotives with improved traction system design will enable the replacement of the existing mainline locomotive fleet.

An additional 9 new locomotives and 24 hybrid battery-diesel yard shunt locomotives were commissioned in 2024, bringing the total number of locomotives to be commissioned through the program to 90.

Key Dates

Mar 2020 ROIs Open
Oct 2021 Contract Award
Feb 2024 Additional two contracts awarded

Funding contributions

NZ Government

Funding Allocations: 

  • 2019/20 - $375 million
  • 2020/21 - $421 million
  • 2021/22 - $723 million

An additional two contracts for an additional 33 locomotives was announced in February 2024. The total value of these contracts was not announced at the time, but the total funding envelope was increased to NZ$1.7 billion. 


Procuring Agency: KiwiRail
Successful Tenderer: Stadler Rail Valencia


May 2019 The New Zealand Government allocated NZ$375 million to KiwiRail to improve its rollingstock fleet as part of its 2019-20 Budget.
Mar 2020 KiwiRail invited interested parties to register their interest in supplying mainline locomotives for the rollingstock procurement. The Expression Of Interest period closed on 17 April 2020.
May 2020 The New Zealand budget allocated $421 million to the rolling-stock upgrade program.
Sep 2020 The New Zealand Government's Policy Statement on Land Transport detailed the total cost of the program as NZ$421 million.
May 2021 The New Zealand budget allocated $723 million to the rolling-stock upgrade program over the next six years.
Oct 2021 KiwiRail awarded Stadler Rail Valencia a NZ$403 million contract to deliver 57 new locomotives. The new fleet was expected to enter the service between early 2024 and 2026.
Feb 2024 KiwiRail commissioned an additional nine mainline locomotives equipped with ETCS and 24 hybrid battery-diesel yard shunt locomotives from Stadler.
Estimated Total Cost
Procurement approach
Traditional Procurement |
New Zealand |
Tender notices