New Zealand to build two RoPax for Cook Strait
KiwiRail has submitted a request for proposals to find a suitable shipyard for the Interislander operator to build the two upcoming rail-enabled roll-on / roll-off passenger (RoPax) ferries.
This is the next step in the construction process and a key step in the completion of the two new buildings.
The new ferries will replace the existing fleet of three ships when they enter service in 2024 and 2025, and at that time it will be more than 25 years since New Zealand last introduced purpose-building ferries fully adapted to future operations and local circumstances.
The 220-meter long ferries will have 20 knots of service speed and 50,000 tons of gross tonnage. They will also have a seating space for 1,910 people, a cargo / freight space for 42 rail wagons + 62 trucks + 170 cars and 652 cars load capacity / passenger vehicles.
Once the ships are completed, New Zealand passengers and tourists will experience a significant strengthening of the infrastructure and service between North Island capital Wellington and South Island capital Picton.
New terminals tailored to the vessels will also be developed as part of the project in order to optimize the infrastructure and benefit fully from the new designs.
Maritime Business World