Last updated on
7/05/2013 12:59 p.m.
Rail transport is used for high volume and heavy freight, and also carries large numbers of urban commuters in both Auckland and Wellington.
Rail use for freight movement is predicted to increase by 70 percent over the next 20 years.
Below are overviews of the most viewed rail transport topics. You can also follow the links on the left of this page to find out more about the projects we are working on.
Metro rail funding and investigations
Read about the Auckland City Centre Rail Link Business Case Review.
Read about Auckland metro rail funding and ownership package.
Read about the Wellington metro rail funding and ownership package.
New Zealand's national rail network
Check out New Zealand's national rail network to see maps showing the national and metropolitan rail networks of New Zealand.
KiwiRail Turnaround Plan
For more information on the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan view the Government Policy and Funding for Rail page on the Ministry's website.
Key government rail transport organisations
The Ministry of Transport
The Ministry is the government's principal transport adviser. We provide policy advice and support to Ministers. See About the Ministry of Transport for more information.
About rail transport in New Zealand
Rail is an effective mode of transport for high volume and heavy freight and carries approximately 15 percent of freight moved in New Zealand (tonne-kilometres). It carries large numbers of urban commuters in Auckland and Wellington with more than 22 million boardings in 2010/11. The rail system also reduces the pressure on New Zealand's roads and can provide safety, health and environmental benefits.
With predicted growth in freight over the next 3 decades, an efficient rail freight network will play an important and complimentary role to road freight to maintain access to our key ports.
For these reasons it is important that the rail system operates as efficiently as possible. The government, through KiwiRail, now owns and controls not only the rail tracks and associated infrastructure, but also the majority of the rolling stock. The government wants rail to compete on a commercial basis with other freight and passenger transport modes, with services funded from customer revenue as far as possible and rail investments providing a rate of return.
The Ministry's focus over the short to medium term is to work to establish the appropriate governance, institutional, funding and legislative frameworks that will position rail to contribute positively to the transport system in the future.
The Ministry aims to make the New Zealand rail industry progressively safer and reduce the distress and trauma arising from death and injury in the rail sector.