Stadler and KiwiRail strengthen partnership through locomotive agreements

Posted: 27 February 2024 | | No comments yet

Stadler and KiwiRail have reinforced their partnership with a new rolling stock agreement, which includes nine extra DM locomotives.


Stadler is currently manufacturing the 57 DM class narrow gauge locomotives, ordered by KiwiRail in 2021, to be used primarily for mainline services on the South Island rail network. Under the new agreement, both companies have expanded their commitment with an additional order for nine DM class locomotives that will be equipped with ETCS technology for deployment on the North Island rail network. Additionally, the last ten Class DM locomotives from the first order in 2021, will also be fitted with ETCS bringing the total number of ETCS fitted DM class locomotives in the North Island to 19. ETCS will enable the DM class locomotive to safely and seamlessly operate in the Auckland Metro area that is fitted with ETCS Level 1 trackside signalling system. This initiative also future proofs the DM class locomotive to safely operate in the Wellington Metro area when that trackside signalling system has been upgraded to ETCS.

As part of the second agreement, Stadler will supply 24 hybrid battery-diesel narrow-gauge yard shunt locomotives featuring a central cab and a maximum axle load of 16 tonnes. The new yard shunt locomotives are specifically designed to operate within all shunting areas belonging to KiwiRail.

Thanks to the on-board battery module, the locomotive will primarily operate as zero-emission vehicle, significantly contributing to the reduction of KiwiRail’s shunting operations carbon-footprint. The comprehensive contract also includes spare parts, special tools and technical services. The yard shunt locomotives will be designed to be operated from outside the driving cab within the shunting yard limits by means of a safe and resilient remote-control system.

Iñigo Parra, Executive Vice President Stadler Division Spain, expressed his pride in the ongoing collaboration, stating, “Stadler stands at the forefront of green drive technologies globally, offering a diverse range of solutions for our clients. We are very proud that KiwiRail has once again entrusted Stadler with the renewal of its locomotive fleet, and we are delighted to support them on their journey towards a zero-emission rail service.”

KiwiRail Chief Customer and Growth Officer Adele Wilson said the new locomotives were part of a $1.7b investment in rolling stock that would enable KiwiRail to deliver better service to its customers and further enhance the New Zealand freight market’s access to low carbon emission transport. The locomotives will also be deployed on the tourism routes where travellers demand low carbon options. “New mainline locomotives and shunts mean less maintenance time in the depots and more time on the track reliably serving our customers. We welcome the advantages in up-to-date technology our long-term relationship with Stadler brings, especially to our goal of decarbonisation.”

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