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Old July 3rd, 2008, 02:48 AM   #121
jarbury
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I reckon there could be enough demand in ChCh to run commuter rail services. Particularly from the north where there are a few "satellite towns". Heck ChCh ain't much smaller than Wellington.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 05:12 AM   #122
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I reckon there could be enough demand in ChCh to run commuter rail services. Particularly from the north where there are a few "satellite towns". Heck ChCh ain't much smaller than Wellington.
last estimate (mid 2007) less than a thousand difference... CHCh is growing faster too so will be interesting to see 2008 results. I dont see how rail has any 'difficulty' in the South island.... it only has three major lines now, the density issues wouldnt effect them...
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Old July 5th, 2008, 12:30 AM   #123
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Chch-Dn-Invgl service ...

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Train whistle blows for Southerner
DScene 4 Jul 2008

Talks are on track for a Southerner railcar comeback.

There is every chance the Government will take another look at passenger rail in and out of Dunedin now that it has bought back the railways, says one of Finance Minister
Michael Cullen’s senior advisors on rail, Chris MacKenzie.

The service everyone seems interested in is the Southerner, which did the Invercargill-Dunedin-Christchurch run until it was stopped in 1992.

“I have had some contacts from a couple of private operators who would be interested in reinstating the Southerner and people within the industry itself who would like to see it given another go,” says Mr MacKenzie.

He says two private overseas operators are among those who approached him before the KiwiRail announcement.

He says the operators are companies more than capable of managing rail operations. Asked what country they are from, he says: “I’d rather not say, as you would get too close.”

An Australian company ran the Transcenic operation in 2002, he says.

“This is the sort of company I’m talking about. There are companies like this around which are interested in niche passenger rail.”

Dunedin’s Taieri Gorge Railway boss, Murray Bond, says staff received an offer of a railcar lease from KiwiRail this week.

KiwiRail is looking to lease out its Silver Fern railcars based in Auckland, he says.

Taieri Gorge will consider the offer because it hopes to have a proposal together to buy a railcar in the next year or so, he says.

Meanwhile, it is looking for other options.

“We looked at Japan and China. We’ve looked second-hand and new. We’ve done internet searches.

“We’re interested in contacting manufacturers.

“One of the problems we have is that our lines are not electrified so we have to go for diesel and there’s not many made now.”
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Old July 7th, 2008, 07:13 AM   #124
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Second half on passenger transport.

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Rail network being improved and extended
Stuff July 7, 03:33 PM

The movement of containers on rail from the east to west of the North Island is being improved by a one kilometre long deviation around the narrow Kai Iwi tunnel near Wanganui.

Government-owned railtrack operator Ontrack said the bypass would allow trains to carry larger 2.9m containers on the Marton to New Plymouth line.

"These containers are increasingly being used to transport freight from ports and from Fonterra's Whareroa dairy plant in south Taranaki," acting general manager of engineering Walter Rushbrook said in Ontrack's newsletter.

New Plymouth-based construction company Hurlstone Earthmoving Ltd has help move almost 327,000 cu m of earth to create the deviation.

"The Kai Iwi deviation is a major step forward in making rail more competitive," said Mr Rushbrook.

The cut over from the tunnel to the deviation took place over the weekend of June 21-22.

The Kai Iwi tunnel is about 9km northwest of Wanganui.

Ontrack has also been protecting rail corridors for potential new rail lines.

It is giving priority to three types of rail corridors, the newsletter said. These are small spur lines connecting to major industrial sites. Examples of these include a proposed line to Fonterra's Clandeboye dairy factory in South Canterbury and the former Weston Line to the proposed Holcim cement plant in North Otago.

A second area of interest is creating connections between main lines and ports and airports. Examples of these include designating a rail link from the North Auckland Line to Northland's port at Marsden Point and the protection of a future rail link from the North Island Main Trunk Line to Auckland International Airport.

A third area of interest is protecting a route for future urban passenger services such as the talked about tunnel linking Britomart and Mt Eden in Auckland.

"In Christchurch, we would like to protect a route for bringing rail back into the centre of the city as part of an urban passenger network," Ontack said.

The Ministry of Transport targets increasing rail's share of the transport market from its current 18 percent of volume to around 25 percent.

The amount of freight being moved around the country is expected to double by 2020.

"If rail is to grasp the opportunities offered by climate change and road congestion, we need to plan now for the future expansion of the network," Ontrack chief executive William Peet said.

The last significant expansion of the rail network was the development of the Murupara branch line in the 1950s.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #125
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"In Christchurch, we would like to protect a route for bringing rail back into the centre of the city as part of an urban passenger network," Ontack said.
Talk about closing the stable door after the horse has bolted!

Any ideas if they will try and get rail back to Nelson again? It must by now be our biggest city without a rail link. Most of the line was built to connect up to the existing West Coast line but it has all been ripped up. I guess most of the earth works are still in place and it looks (Google Earth) like most of the corridor into Nelson city has been preserved. It is one of our fastest growing centres.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #126
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Hmmm. I think that old link would be a very,very low priority. It goes to the west where as most most people will travel east.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #127
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Hmmm. I think that old link would be a very,very low priority. It goes to the west where as most most people will travel east.
AFAIK the midland line is the most profitable in the country. 7 x 24 car coal trains running round the clock make it so. It is a much shorter trip to the port at Nelson than it is all the way over to Lyttelton. I don't for a second think a passenger service will see this line rebuilt - freight perhaps? Getting away from the PT nature of the thread I guess.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 12:59 AM   #128
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MP wants new train-trip to keep going north
5:00AM Wednesday July 16, 2008


With the price of petrol continuing to soar, Green MP Keith Locke wants the Auckland-to-Whangarei passenger rail service re-opened as an alternative to road travel.

It last operated in 1976, but the list MP says it is time to reinstate the Northland line.

Mr Locke's call has the backing of Northland Regional Council chairman Mark Farnsworth.

Speaking at the re-opening of the Auckland-to-Helensville line - the first section of the Northland line - Mr Locke said the time was right to look at extending the service through to Whangarei.

"With the price of oil rising, people are looking more and more at alternatives to car travel. Sure, there are buses, but a lot of people, including myself, like train travel - it's smoother and more sociable, plus rail travels a different route to the highway."

Mr Locke said that if the Greens were in the next Government, the party would push for the line to be reinstated.

But a feasibility study would be needed. The route could re-opened for a trail period, like the Auckland-to-Helensville service, which is running three times a day for a year.

The track to Whangarei carries freight, but Mr Locke said work was needed on it to bring it up to passenger standard.

An upgrade of the Auckland-Whangarei track would be welcomed in many circles in Northland.

Mr Farnsworth said it was vital to the regional council's plans for a 16km link to Marsden Pt.

"But I don't think you need to polish your crystal ball to understand that with the escalating fuel costs, and the predictions for those costs to continue to rise, that public transport will come back into its own."

The council is working with rail infrastructure agency Ontrack to secure land for the 16km rail corridor to the port at Marsden Pt.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #129
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I'm hoping that many proposals from the past that were sunk will come back, such as extending the Gracefield Industrial Branch in Lower Hutt to Wainuiomata as well as reinstating the freight depot and rail yards at Gracefield which was closed in 2002 by you guessed it privately owned asset stripping Tranz Rail. I just hope that national doesn't get voted in because you bet they will sell of what they call "surplus land" so that the line can never be reinstated.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 08:59 AM   #130
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I also think it would be a very good idea to reinstate as many as possible of the private rail sidings that have been closed over the years. For example the Dominion Post was delivered from the printing press directly by rail into Wellington. Just a few years ago they started trucking it in. Pure idiocy. If you look in google maps you can see so many industrial sites next to the rail line, some still have the track for the private siding in place, but are unused.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 05:09 AM   #131
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... reinstating the freight depot and rail yards at Gracefield which was closed in 2002 by you guessed it privately owned asset stripping Tranz Rail.
I'd like to see part of the site developed as a secure rail served inland port (with containers railed to/from CentrePort Wellington). I read somewhere (forgot source) that quite a high percentage of import/export containers come from/go to the Seaview-Gracefield industrial area.

The rest of the site could be used for domestic containers and general freight.

I'd also like to know how much rail-freight handled in Wellington is destined for that area too - could further help the case for reopening. And if a significant proportion of freight loading and unloading can be moved to the Hutt this might allow a reorganisation of the railyards in the city.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 03:05 PM   #132
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A survey amongst 1000 voters, shows that New Zealanders are overwhelmingly in favour of the rail and ferry buyback despite the $1 billion plus pricetag. Whether National help in modernising rail should they get in remains to be seen. It is obvious that to modernise, a price tag of upwards (() of $5 billion would deliver New Zealand a world class rail system. The benefits for New Zealand's economy could be enormous, particularly considering our reliance on exports to our economy.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 03:09 PM   #133
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Just a quick question. Where did you get the $5 billion price tag from? Also, I very much doubt that even $5 billion could buy a "world class" railway system based upon the difficult engineering that would be involved, the electrification of main trunk routes that would be involved, the purchasing of rolling stock, the re-connection of old lines (Auckland to Whangarei, Rotorua, Tauranga, Taupo, Napier/Hastings etc etc).

It'll be very difficult to get a decent rail system going in New Zealand, as much as I would love there to be one. I can't help but feel that it might be an almost insurmountable task with huge government subsidies required to keep basic levels of service going as seen in NSW, Australia with Countrylink - and they don't have half of the problems we do with terrain and money!
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 12:13 AM   #134
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He says upwards of $5 billion. I think that's fair enough.

There's probably a lot of smaller improvements to the rail network that can be done. Out of the main urban centres, and perhaps a few inter-city passenger routes (150 kph trains in the Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga triangle) I think most rail improvements will be for freight. As deisel gets more and more expensive, it will be in freight movers' best interests to shift cargo via train rather than truck. Especially along the electrified parts of the system.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 01:40 AM   #135
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$5 billion is an estimate. $242 million was quoted in the Press as how much would be needed to start up a commuter rail system in Christchurch which would eventually recquire upwards a billion to be invested.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 02:17 AM   #136
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Govt details KiwiRail investment
10:00AM Tuesday July 22, 2008


Improvements for Auckland and Wellington commuter train services, an overhaul of the Trans Scenic service and urgent repairs at the Wellington and Picton ferry terminals have been announced as part of the Government's initial investment in rail.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the initial $80.2 million over five years was the first step since the Government purchased the rail assets of Toll Holdings and launched KiwiRail.

Dr Cullen said in the next few weeks he would be taking a paper to Cabinet looking at expanding the role of rail in the economy and the investment necessary to do that.

The $80m allows the current programme of locomotive upgrades to continue as well as:

* Upgrades to the diesel electric DC class locomotives on the Auckland and Wellington passenger service and the re-commissioning of two more electric locomotives for freight service in the Wellington area;

* The replacement of the Tranz Scenic fleet with newly refurbished cars over five years;


* Urgent repairs and safety issues to be addressed at the Wellington and Picton Interislander ferry terminals; and

* Funding to evaluate whether locomotives could be assembled in the Hutt Valley and elsewhere.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 04:04 AM   #137
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At the moment it is all about doing a patchup job to get everything up to scratch. It will be a big undertaking and will take a long time to get things progressing towards having a world class network. As long as it is moving in the right direction. This has the potential to boost New Zealand's Gdp should they get it right.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 05:16 AM   #138
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Very interesting with the electric locomotives being used for freight in Wellington. I thought there were going to be 2x 6 carriage passenger express services hauled by the electric locomotives (Eo class (confusing, there are two locomotives that use Eo class designation, we're getting the newer ones)), with one locomotive at each end of the train. I think whats now happening is there will be just one six carriage passenger express service hauled by 2 electric locomotives and using 2 other locomotives for freight and the remaining one used as a backup in case one breaks down.

There haven't been any electric locomotive hauled freight trains in Wellington since 1988, 20 years ago. This is excellent especially because it is making good use of otherwise useless locomotives as they can't be used anywhere else on the rail network since the electrification was removed from the Otira tunnel section in the south island, where they came from.

If we are going to get new locomotives hopefully they will be diesel electric/electric locomotives and dual voltage. In other words they would use diesel where there is no overhead wire and where there is it can use either the 25kv AC system on the NIMT or the 1500v DC system in Wellington. That way you don't have to replace all the wiring and make the brand new commuter trains, the existing multiple units and the Eo locomotives useless.

In my opinion the ideal way to do things to make the most use of existing infrastructure would be to initially purchase diesel electric/electric dual voltage locomotives that can be used anywhere on the rail network using any electric overhead wire where possible while allowing the use of the existing rolling stock as much as possible too. Once the existing Wellington Em/Et units have reached the end of their useful life and the really old (1940's) English Electrics are long gone and only the yet to be delivered new unnamed electric multiple units are still around give them a mid life refurbishment including conversion to dual voltage. That way the electrification in Wellington can then be transitioned to 25kv AC. After that the entire rail network would be electrified with 25kv AC with all rolling stock being dual voltage at that time. From then on only 25kv AC rolling stock would be purchased with dual voltage phased out as old rolling stock is withdrawn from service leaving a pure 25kv AC system nationwide.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 10:45 AM   #139
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Just a quick question. Where did you get the $5 billion price tag from? Also, I very much doubt that even $5 billion could buy a "world class" railway system based upon the difficult engineering that would be involved, the electrification of main trunk routes that would be involved, the purchasing of rolling stock, the re-connection of old lines (Auckland to Whangarei, Rotorua, Tauranga, Taupo, Napier/Hastings etc etc).

It'll be very difficult to get a decent rail system going in New Zealand, as much as I would love there to be one. I can't help but feel that it might be an almost insurmountable task with huge government subsidies required to keep basic levels of service going as seen in NSW, Australia with Countrylink - and they don't have half of the problems we do with terrain and money!
thats a tad exaggerated... for example 'countrylink' is only the long distance passenger network in nsw/eastern oz and is hardly representative of a 'network' as such.

also what 'old links' are you talking about? I dont get it. Auckland is already connected to Tauranga and Whangarei and the rotorua connection is still in place, if mothballed. There never was a connecion to napier/hastings (it was never built) nor taupo (and even then it would probably be one of the cheapest 'missing link' conections to construct in nz)... if you are talking about 'passenger service connections' then you are correct but are exaggerating the cost and effort to reinstate those passenger 'links'... and besides im sure thats not the priority right now, the whole NZ rail thing needs to be kept in context.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 10:59 PM   #140
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thats a tad exaggerated... for example 'countrylink' is only the long distance passenger network in nsw/eastern oz and is hardly representative of a 'network' as such.

also what 'old links' are you talking about? I dont get it. Auckland is already connected to Tauranga and Whangarei and the rotorua connection is still in place, if mothballed. There never was a connecion to napier/hastings (it was never built) nor taupo (and even then it would probably be one of the cheapest 'missing link' conections to construct in nz)... if you are talking about 'passenger service connections' then you are correct but are exaggerating the cost and effort to reinstate those passenger 'links'... and besides im sure thats not the priority right now, the whole NZ rail thing needs to be kept in context.
I disagree, the countrylink network (look up the definition of network) in NSW is no different to the network in New Zealand. It supplies rail connections to rural communities and regional cities, just as our current rail service does.

As for old links - are you trying to say there has never been freight to Napier/Hastings from Auckland? I bet there was at some point. Yes I am talking about passenger rail since we're in the public transport thread and not the "freight" thread.

(PS: I don't know much about how the NZ rail network was, it's a rail system that never interested me in the slightest)
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