Stadler and KiwiRail sign US$263m contract for 57 mainline locomotives

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Stadler and KiwiRail have signed a long-term framework agreement with a first call-off for the development and delivery of 57 mainline locomotives. The order value of the initial order amounts to around €228m (US$263m).

As part of this contract, Stadler will supply a state-of-the-art Co’Co’ narrow-gauge locomotive. This is tailored to the requirements and specific operating procedures of KiwiRail and contains proven components and systems. The new locomotives will be used in freight and passenger transport, especially on the South Island with its demanding route topography.

In line with Stadler’s focus on sustainable solutions for rail transport, the locomotives will meet the latest European emission standard (Stage V). This not only leads to a significant reduction in nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions and the associated costs for the environment and public health, but also to optimized combustion, which reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The narrow-gauge locomotives with two cabins are equipped with a diesel engine with an installed capacity of 3,000 kW. In many cases, this allows KiwiRail to operate the trains with fewer locomotives than with the current service.

Greg Miller, chief executive of KiwiRail Group, said the locomotives stand for a new era of rail in New Zealand. “The 57 locomotives will replace our South Island fleet, which has an average age of 47 years. Stadler’s high-quality, fuel-efficient and more powerful locomotives will enable us to provide more reliable service and bring more goods from New Zealand’s South Island from road to rail. The low-emission locomotives are also an important step in KiwiRail’s plan to be emission-neutral by 2050.”

Dr Ansgar Brockmeyer, executive vice president of marketing and sales, and deputy CEO of Stadler, added, “With our broad portfolio of modular and custom vehicle solutions, environmentally friendly traction concepts, digital solutions and tailor-made expert services, we see the opportunity to offer KiwiRail and mobility in New Zealand further added value beyond the delivery of the first project.”

KiwiRail is a State-owned company of the New Zealand Government responsible for New Zealand's national rail network, operating New Zealand rail freight and ferry services between the islands. For more than 150 years, New Zealand's railway has connected communities, transporting goods and people across the country.