New life will be breathed into New Zealand's creaking railroad system thanks to the Budget - but KiwiRail faces a challenge money can't buy as easily as new heavy metal.

The statutory corporation will lose 800 of its 3500 staff to retirement in the next 10 years making recruitment one of the biggest tasks ahead, says chief executive Greg Miller.

That's not to imply he's just been granted $1.4 billion and is still complaining.

Miller is pumped about the Budget allocation.

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"I was delighted. It's an outstanding amount of investment to make and we need it, and we're grateful. We

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KiwiRail assets: