Thursday, May 28, 2020

1934 Morris Sedan 10/6

KiwiRail releases new 'Interislander' ferry designs

KiwiRail has unveiled concept designs for a pair of greener, technologically-advanced ferries it plans to roll out within the next five years.

On Wednesday, KiwiRail said the ferries -- which would operate as Interislander services on Cook Strait between Wellington and Picton -- would increase capacity for the vital transport link.

A request for a proposal to find a preferred shipyard to build the ships was issued on Wednesday.

"The new ships will strengthen and enhance the vital transport link between the North and South Islands and represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the Cook Strait crossing," KiwiRail group chief executive Greg Miller said.

Interislander operates three ferries at the moment, moving about 800,000 people and up to $NZ 14 billion worth of road and rail freight between the North and South Islands per year.

A $NZ 400 million contribution from the Government's Budget this year had enabled KiwiRail to go out to international tender to build the new ships, it said, which were intended to arrive for service in 2024 and 2025.

The funds would also go towards KiwiRail's infrastructure at ports in Wellington and Picton.

When the new ships arrive, it will have been more than 25 years since New Zealand last introduced a purpose-built ferry to its fleet.

For the history of NZ's interisland ferries, see the book Strait Crossing by Victor Young

What to do with a withdrawn Boeing 727? Take it into the woods and turn it into a home