Progress on EF locomotive rebuilds

William Blackmore made this Official Information request to KiwiRail

The request was successful.

From: William Blackmore

Dear KiwiRail,

Could you kindly advise what progress has been made on the rebuilding of 15 EF locomotives as $35M funding was announced in Nov 2018.

Yours faithfully,

Bill Blackmore

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From: Dave Allard

Good afternoon Bill

On behalf of KiwiRail I'd like to acknowledge your OIA request, as detailed in your email below.

We received your request on 20 Jan 2021. We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 18 Feb 2021, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

I will be looking after your request, any questions - please feel free to get in touch.



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From: Dave Allard

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Good afternoon Bill


Thank you for your enquiry on the Electric Locomotives. Please find the
response to your OIA request below.


As you may be aware KiwiRail’s high level delivery targets for this
project are to refurbish the 15 locomotives, to a standard of 80,000kms
MDBF and a 10-year extended life.

The following tasks to support these targets include: Refurbishing and
upgrading the Control System for the locomotives, overhauling the bogies,
upgrading the brake system, replacing compressors, install fire detection
system, cab egress and repainting exteriors of the locomotives.


Progress is being made on the refurbishment of the EF locomotives at
KiwiRail's Hutt Workshop facility.

While there have been some delays in securing some obsolete parts required
for the rebuilding, significant progress has been achieved on the
locomotives with KiwiRail working with Waikato based company Loop
Technology to update the electronics in KiwiRail’s 15 electric


The work so far has included the construction of new runner bogies and a
new colour scheme/branding for the EFs. The cab egress has also had a
trial emergency window installed and cab improvements are being assessed
both practically and ergonomically with our project partners.

Work is also well underway on the Traction Control system with operational
software under development and testing of this underway.


Thank you again for your interest in this project, and further question –
please get in touch.


Kind regards



Dave Allard  | Government Relations Advisor

DDI: +64 4 498 3218
Level 4, Wellington Railway Station, Bunny Street, Wellington 6011 | PO
Box 593, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

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From: William Blackmore

Dear Dave Allard,

Thank you for replying to my request relating to progress on the EF loco rebuilds. Is there any estimated time for completion of the prototype rebuild. It's obviously taking a lot longer than expected as KiwiRail Acting Chief Executive Todd Moyle said in Oct 2018 "With this funding KiwiRail will be able to refurbish the 15 locos – including working with a supplier to upgrade their electronic control systems – at our Hutt Workshops over the next three to four years." Over two years have passed and not one loco has been completed.

Yours sincerely,

William Blackmore

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