KiwiRail Rollingstock

Under Procurement
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
  • 1900 new South Island wagons 
  • replacement of the North Island fleet 
  • a European Train Control System 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.

The allocation in the 2019-20 Budget will also fund improvements to the layout and efficiency of KiwiRail's maintenance depots at Hutt and Waltham.

The 2021 NZ Budget provided funding to complete the South Island rolling-stock upgrade. 

Key Dates

Jun 2023 Initial locomotives to arrive in FY 2022-23

Funding contributions

NZ Government

Funding Allocations: 

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


Procuring Agency: KiwiRail


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.
Estimated Total Cost
Procurement approach
Traditional Procurement |
New Zealand |
Tender notices