Keeping New Zealand’s islands connected with rail-enabled ferries
KiwiRail operates the Interislander ferry service between the North and South islands of New Zealand. As part of a fleet renewal programme, they have procured two new rail-enabled ferries that will be arriving in 2025 and 2026. As these ferries are much larger than any of the vessels in the current fleet, the terminals will also need to be upgraded—our team was there to help.
Rather than retrofit the existing structures, KiwiRail made the decision to build brand new facilities. We were commissioned to provide input to the design of the terminals—initially alongside the architect, and then directly for KiwiRail. As the two new ferries are 30 percent larger than any of the vessels currently plying the Cook Strait, the terminal upgrade was required to accommodate these vessels but also to provide a higher standard of terminal facility for the many users of the service. Our team provided several services, including transport modelling (traffic and pedestrian), terminal planning, traffic engineering, and input to the consenting process.
Upon completion this project will provide an improvement in both capacity and service for the Interislander ferry. It will generate jobs and stimulate the tourist economy on both islands.
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