MERMEC has signed a contract with New Zealand’s national rail operator KiwiRail to supply a “diagnostic vehicle” to test the nation’s rail infrastructure. 

The Australian arm of the Italian engineering group will supply the Track Evaluation Car, which will be delivered with 12 critical safety inspection tools. 

The car will replace a 41-year-old track safety car, according to KiwiRail. 

The new vehicle will “inspect and measure” 3,700 kilometres of track owned and operated by the Wellington-based infrastructure manager. 

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The vehicle will provide “exhaustive” track analysis using laser technology, sensors, cameras, and a data management system according to MERMEC Australia. 

Although the product type is not specified in the companies’ communications, MERMEC offers a 4-product range of measurement and inspection rail vehicles. The ROGER range of self-propelled machines offers varying degrees of operational capabilities at speeds from 80km/h to 200km/h. 

The interior of SBB’s ROGER 1000 showcasing diagnostic displays. Credit: MERMEC

KiwiRail’s chief planning and asset development officer David Gordon explained the renewal was part of a focus on track upgrades. 

“The purchase as part of KiwiRail’s commitment to minimising the risk of future disruptions to the track network. Our focus is on improving service reliability for customers, and investment in assets like the evaluation car is an important part of that.”

MERMEC Group CEO Luca Ghiri described the contract as a “significant step” for the firm. 

“I am extremely proud to announce the strategic agreement with KiwiRail, which is a significant step that underscores our leadership position on the oceanic continent and expands MERMEC Group’s international presence to include New Zealand among the countries in which it operates,” he said.