Electric Railcars running fast and frequently - made in Christchurch for New Zealand conditions - what a great idea. It would activate the existing rail network inter-regionally and commuter rail within Greater Christchurch.
Battery Electric Rail Cars for Christchurch and the Regions
It would not be nearly so cost effective for commuter rail as they claim unfortunately - the existing Christchurch tracks would likely have to be double tracked, and to make sensible the regular service levels that a railcar enables the level crossings would have to be grade separated with bridges or underpasses.
It is likely that in order for Miro Rail to move forward Central and Local Government would have to commit to these upgrades, otherwise the business case looks less than stellar.
However the existing rail corridors are a lot more doable than new light rail routes... and there is the possibility if the level crossings can be removed - of driverless operation which would ease the labour shortage that affects bus operations in Christchurch.
The header image is the old historic electric tram routes - and I see how Miro's battery electric railcars could be designed to move onto a future light rail network within the city. They would have to have driver operations and the tracks would have to match the narrow gauge of our existing tracks - but being able to run these battery electric railcars on local roads would be a fast way to make our city even more liveable.