KiwiRail will this week meet staff around the country to discuss changes in its infrastructure and engineering division as job cuts loom.
Yesterday KiwiRail said it would not confirm how many workers would be forced into redundancy until it had had the chance to talk to its workers this week.
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union said that in July it was suggested that job cuts could be as high as 220, but this had come down to 158.
Consultation documents released in July showed the company planned to cut between 160 and 220.
Union general secretary Wayne Butson said that after voluntary redundancies and not filling vacancies, the number of compulsory redundancies was down to 29.
A KiwiRail spokeswoman would not confirm numbers.
"Our main concern at this point is consulting with staff from [today] onwards and then we'll go from there,'' she said.
Mr Butson said a reduction in job cuts was welcome but they still went too deep.
"We fought hard to save as many jobs we could. With rotting Peruvian sleepers and hundreds of wooden bridges beyond their centenary of service, the last thing KiwiRail should be doing is laying off skilled workers.''
Vital rail work would not get done or would be delayed which would compromise safety and performance, he said.
"We'll see more temporary speed restrictions in place and a greater potential for derailments and other critical incidents, with customers and staff paying the true cost of the cuts.''
Last month Kiwi Rail chief executive Jim Quinn said KiwiRail had no intention of replacing staff with contractors.
"We are making these changes to reduce expenditure, using contractors to undertake day to day work on the network will not achieve savings.''
Contractors had been used in the past to supplement the work force when required and that would continue to happen, he said.
"The proposed staff reductions are not about doing the same amount of work we have been doing with less staff. We are simply slowing down the work we will be doing on the network over the next three years.''