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While this investment proposal is similar to those made by our transport sector partners, it is a fictitious example. To get the best understanding of how we might apply the IAF, please also read the IAF. You may also find it helpful to refer to the results alignment criteria in the IAF which you will find on our website’s Planning and Investment Knowledge Base page.

Investment Assessment Framework 2018–21 NLTP [PDF, 707 KB]
Planning and Investment Knowledge Base

The proposal

A diesel passenger train service currently operates between two stations. For connections beyond these stations, passengers need to transfer to the electric multiple unit services. There are currently issues with the levels of service provided to customers.

The area between these stations is expected to experience rapid population growth. Various options are currently being looked at for better integration of the services into the wider public transport system in the region.

A business case has been developed that identifies a preferred option, which is electrification of the line between the two stations.

Applying the IAF to this proposal

The first thing we consider is how well this proposal aligns with our policy on rail investment. Under the new transitional rail activity class, investment in below track public transport rail infrastructure such as electrification is allowed.

This proposal has passed the assessment of the business case and as a rail public transport project, it can now be considered under the IAF assessment criteria, of the public transport, rapid transit and transitional rail improvements.

We then consider this proposal against the very high results alignment criteria.

We consider this to be an issue about access in a liveable city, rather than a safety issue. Due to this we would then think about whether it meets the IAF’s very high criteria related to a substantial increase in access to social and economic opportunities for large numbers of people.

In this case, the proposal does not meet the very high criteria. It is not rapid transit and won’t result in a substantial increase in the movement of a large number of passengers, or in transit-oriented development.

We then consider this proposal against the high results alignment criteria.

While this proposal does meet a number of the high criteria, its most applicable criteria is that it makes best use of the public transport service operations and connection to other services. This means it receives a high results alignment rating.

This is because the current fleet service being delivered, which is electric mixed with diesel, is inefficient and therefore impacts on customer choice of mode.

This proposal will standardise infrastructure and services and means that a more streamlined, effective and attractive rail public transport can be offered.

To support this, we could look at the environment criteria. This proposal would only result in enabling localised reductions in harm to the environment and people and attract a medium rating.

Next, we can move on to considering the cost-benefit appraisal. This proposal is still being developed and does not yet have the necessary data to calculate a benefit–cost ratio. Therefore, we will provide a Low* rating until a full appraisal is completed.

However, given the high results alignment, the proposal is likely to receive a high priority even with a relatively low benefit-cost ratio.

We hope you found this information useful and please remember to take a look at our other examples of how we apply the IAF.

Examples of how we apply the IAF

If you have any questions about this information, or want to understand more about what we can invest in and how we can support your work, please contact your investment advisor, or Director Regional Relationships, or email us at