Locals May Get Wagon Job


Good news for local workers.

KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn confirmed today that KiwiRail will submit its own bid to build new freight wagons to replace its ageing wagon fleet.

Expressions of interest close late next week for the supply of 300 wagons required as the first stage in the process. KiwiRail need to replace more than 3000 wagons as it implements its Turnaround Plan.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said yesterday that rail workers were keen for the work to be done at the KiwiRail workshops in Lower Hutt and Dunedin, where many similar wagons had been built previously.

Mr Butson said he would hope that the government had the same enthusiasm for keeping rail workers’ jobs as it did for keeping The Hobbit and other film production in New Zealand.

Mr Quinn said the workshops will bid for the work and that bid will be considered as part of the overall tendering process.

“We must be commercial as a business. That means running a robust tender process and ensuring we get the best possible deal when all factors are taken into account.

“We have faith in the capability of our workshops to carry out the work, but they also need to prove they are competitive with other suppliers.

“As a result of mechanical problems with some of our existing wagon fleet and the growing needs of customers, we will need 300 wagons delivered by July next year to ensure that wagon availability does not become the limiting factor to our growth potential.

“The process will establish our competitiveness on all dimensions - cost, quality and the ability to deliver the volume in the time required,” he said.




  1. Luke says:

    not sure if Hillside on their own will be able to build 300 in under 6 months. May have to partner with other engineering firms around the country.

    Maybe if they just gave Hillside the contract now they would be able to deliver in the time required, instead of mucking round with this tender process.

  2. Matt says:

    Luke, If they split between Hillside and Lower Hutt I imagine they could probably do it. It’s not like freight wagons are terribly complicated.

  3. karl says:

    “We have faith in the capability of our workshops to carry out the work, but they also need to prove they are competitive with other suppliers.”

    Just imagine that - its like your own boss coming to your office, and saying to you: Hey, I have faith in you, but just to make sure, we are also going to ask other people eslewhere if they can do it for less. If they can, you may have to be fired.

    Yeah, faith indeed.

  4. DanC says:

    Give Hillside the contract now (as said by Luke) get people employed in NZ. Make sure terms for delivery dates and standards are laid out at the start and not changed by any parties during the build.


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