KiwiRail has awarded Alstom of a ‘once-in-a-generation’ contract to deploy an integrated traffic management system for the national rail network.

NEW ZEALAND: KiwiRail has awarded Alstom a ‘once-in-a-generation’ contract to deploy an integrated traffic management system for the national rail network.

Replacing the existing traffic control technology with the ‘state-of-the-art’ Iconis integrated system will bring a ‘step-change in the way Kiwi Rail will operate its network’, said Mark Coxon, Managing Director for Alstom in Australia & New Zealand, on September 14. ‘Our innovative yet proven technology will provide KiwiRail greater operational flexibility, efficiency and safety while simplifying and future-proofing its operations.’

Roll out

Deployment will take place over three years in four phases, with a pilot on the Wairarapa Line to be followed by geographical expansion in the Lower North Island, Upper North Island and South Island. Alstom will also provide 15 years of support and maintenance

‘This upgrade to the train control system, which replaces 25-year-old software, is a further step to boost network resilience and give KiwiRail the ability to meet increasing demand and ensure safe and reliable rail services for all New Zealanders’, said David Gordon, KiwiRail’s Chief Operating Officer for Capital Projects & Asset Development. ‘It is an important part of the wider investment that is aimed at getting more freight and people off our roads and onto rail and helping to reduce our transport emissions.’


Iconis technology has been deployed across more than 160 freight and suburban networks in 30 countries in greenfield and brownfield environments. The New Zealand deployment will be adapted to suit the KiwiRaik network, including the capability of being run from either of the control centres under construction in Auckland (Ellerslie) or Wellington (Upper Hutt) from 2024.

Coxon said it was the first major contract secured by Alstom in New Zealand, and ‘we will use the KiwiRail TCS opportunity as the catalyst to further expand our presence’.