New Zealand’s rail operator Kiwirail has had four of its coaches refurbished using an engineered leather fibre derived from closely rewoven tannery by-products.

The fibre, which is supplied in rolls, limits the cutting wastage to 5% as opposed to 40% cutting wastage for traditional hides.

The rail operator says the engineered leather is more cost effective than those traditionally used.

The renovation has been carried out by UK firm E-Leather.

The refurbished coaches will be used on the rail operator’s TranzMetro service in the capital city of Wellington.

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