First Locos For 20 Years


They’re the first new locomotives for 20 odd years.

The last order was made during the Muldoon government era.

Last year, the government ordered new DL 2700kW locos and new carriages for Tranz Scenic tourist trains and they have begun arriving..

The purchase of 20 DL locomotives cost $75 million and the order was won by China’s CNR Loric Import and Export Corporation

A key feature of the new locomotives is that they are double-ended.
When the government took over, KiwiRail has 149 locomotives and the youngest was 20 years old.

The average age of the wagons is between 25 and 30 years and most have an axle load of 14 tonnes, according to that briefing document to the incoming government.




  1. Paul says:

    New toys, and its not even xmas yet

  2. George D says:

    Quieter? Less smokey? I hope so. I rode the Overlander last summer (14 hours!!) and the locos were just too noisy and dirty to really enjoy. Hopefully they electrify the rest of the NIMT and the country’s rail network sooner rather than later.

    Anyway, nice to see new locomotives :)

  3. John Dalley says:

    What are the logistics of continuing the electrification from Auckland to Wellington and running electric engines between the two cities?

  4. rtc says:

    I’ve heard they’re considering turning off electrification from Hamilton South and just running disesels instead.

  5. JC says:

    Have to say they’re a tad, well industrial looking. Almost think the concept art looked much nicer.

  6. jon r says:

    Always good to see new locos - rare event in NZ. Only a shame they went with a 1991 look rather than something that looks modern.

    Still better than nothing, so a positive.

  7. Anthony M says:

    I really wish the whole Overlander line was electrfied. :-/

  8. Diego says:

    They look pretty good and impressive too. Any idea what is their power and max. speed? Also any news on the 17 new carriages being built by Hillside Workshop? I read the 17 of them are for the Sth Island services only. I thought some of them would be use for the Overlander services too. Can someone help me out here with some information please?

  9. Kegan says:

    Power output 2700kW. Not sure on top speed but likely to be around 100km/h.

    As for the new carriages, all 17 are for the South Island services. No decision yet on what will replace the current Overlander carriages.

  10. Diego says:

    thanks Kegan, appreciate your info :) I hope the Overlander gets some new carriages too, they look pretty tired already.

  11. Anthony M says:

    The Tranz Alpine and Tranz Coastal is actually older than the Overlander, the last time i went on it the heating system broke down at Athurs Pass when it was actually snowing. so it got quite uncomfortable.

    so don’t call the Overlander old until yove been on the Southern Trains.

  12. Diego says:

    Well, in that case lets get some newish carriages for the Overlander too. I think there are a few ex BR Mark 2 at Ian Welsh’s Mainline Steam depot unused. They would look great on the Overlander.

  13. Paul says:


    - Go pick up a copy of the NZ train Observer mag, it has 2 very good articles, one on the new sth island carriages and one on the BR MK2′s

    The Mk2′s don’t fit the loading gauge on the Midland line, hence the new carriages

    Mainline Steam do have some MK2′s, they are in the process of refurbishing some of them

  14. Matt says:

    As far as electrification all the way between AKL and WLG is concerned, WLG would need to change the present power arrangements for its commuter lines. Can’t recall which is which, but I think NIMT and AKL are AC while WLG commuter is DC. Obviously linking the two systems together is not going to play nice.

  15. welly says:


    WLG is 1500V DC while AK/NIMT are 25KV AC ( although there are reports that the Mainline EFs are unable to use the Auckland wiring without modifications)

    The easiest way would be to purchase dual voltage locos which are not uncommon overseas.


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