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Old November 23rd, 2005, 11:24 PM   #21
AmiDelf
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wow, nice!!!I want to go there now!!! Next year
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Old November 25th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #22
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Yes me too, although I will need to find the money first.

I dont remember the city (Auckland?) but they are creating new commutter trains from some former British Railways Mk2 carraiges.

I would very much like to see these - and would be happy to share the pics here; so far I have not found any decent pics online!

Of course there are also other suburban trains, the cable car, trolleybuses, historic tramway, etc - and for me, as a Brit, I dont even need a visa (unlike Australia!)

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Old November 27th, 2005, 12:48 PM   #23
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New Zealand seems so nice, that I want to go there next Christmas. On the beach calling my fellows in Norway.. now I am cellebrating Christmas at the beach )) Snowing right now in Norway you know,..
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Old November 27th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #24
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Cool, it's about the same size as the ROI isn't it? I wonder what their services are like.
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Old November 28th, 2005, 02:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spsmiler
Yes me too, although I will need to find the money first.

I dont remember the city (Auckland?) but they are creating new commutter trains from some former British Railways Mk2 carraiges.

I would very much like to see these - and would be happy to share the pics here; so far I have not found any decent pics online!

Of course there are also other suburban trains, the cable car, trolleybuses, historic tramway, etc - and for me, as a Brit, I dont even need a visa (unlike Australia!)

Simon
I had a look at the prices for Wellington's train network and well... they're very steep. People here complain about the price of a Zone 1+2 daily (just under $10) but even that seems cheap, unless you only use your 1+2 daily for one return train trip.

Trolleybuses are cool, when I lived in Wellington as a child I'd see countless trolleybuses get stuck after they rounded a curve a bit too fast.

Wellington does have the best public transport network though - you probably could get away with living without a car.
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Old November 28th, 2005, 02:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samsonyuen
Cool, it's about the same size as the ROI isn't it?
New Zealand is a little bit bigger than the UK but with a similar population to the ROI (4m).
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Old November 8th, 2012, 09:33 PM   #27
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NEW ZEALAND | Railways

Apparently there isn't a thread about New Zealand, so let's start it

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuZealand View Post
Great to see how much money and effort is going into Swiss railways.

Where I live (NZ), the opposite is happening: several lines have been mothballed and will likely never open again.
What lines? I know there are suburban system in Wellington and Auckland which are being improved, there is single daily Auckland-Wellington train, the few tourist trains on the South Island and the Christchurch tramway, but nothing about the other passenger railways (if there are).

I suppose it would be too costly to operate rail services outside these lines (and maybe a few more like a suburban service for Christchurch)...
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Old November 9th, 2012, 06:32 AM   #28
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Hi Cocco,
The lines I was referring to specifically are:
* The Napier to Gisborne line. This has been a marginal line for years (economically speaking). The final nail in the coffin for it was a large slip that took out about 100 metres of the line. I think it was projected to cost up to NZ$ 4 million to repair and the powers that be decided it wasn't economical. So it has been mothballed.

I'll find some links for this and other news later on.

Here's a pic of the Mohaka viaduct on this line. It's the highest viaduct in New Zealand at 95 metres.



* The Stratford to Taumaranui line. This was also mothballed a few years ago after a slip. It was mainly used as an alternative route when the main trunk line was closed.

I just read recently that the TranzCostal (a passenger train that goes from Picton (major ferry terminal in the South Island) and Christchurch (the South Island's largest city)) is losing money and could be cancelled.

Also the TranzAlpine (a passenger train that goes from Christchurch to Greymouth through New Zealand's alps) is in the same situation as the above train. If you recall the opening of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (sweeping helicopter shots of snowy mountains), this was filmed in our southern alps.

It's not all bad news however. As you said, Auckland and Wellington have invested a lot of money into improving infrastructure for passenger trains.

I'm not sure if the Christchurch tramway is operating again yet. It was out of action after the huge earthquakes we had in 2011 there.

The only other passenger railways in NZ are a daily commuter train from Masterton to Wellington (and back the other way in the evening) and a daily commuter train from Palmerston North to Wellington. This second one is under threat (yet again) for economic reasons.

Oh, there's also the Auckland to Wellington and Wellington to Auckland trains (one in each direction). These used to be daily, but were cut back to only a few days a week.

That's all I can think of for now. Please ask any questions you may have and I'll be happy to answer.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #29
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Railways in NZ seem to be declining fast except for the modernization of commuter rail lines in Wellington and Auckland.

What's the long term forecast for freight rail on the islands? With branches closing is that taking sources of traffic and the whole network effect down with it? I know there are containerized food product and dairy trains, forest product trains(timber, stuff in enclosed vans), containerized freight, coal?, and uh...yeah? I understand a few lines only have one type of traffic on them.

If there was any hopeful, stable, profitable form of traffic on NZ railways what would it be and what lines are "safe"?

Is NZ going the way of Ireland where there are only passenger lines and like 4 freight services(not lines, scheduled trains) on the entire island?
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Old November 9th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #30
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Very little lines really. Generally rail travel is only for tourists and it is highly expensive costing far more than air routes on the same route.

Generally most lines run three times a week in each direction I believe. Take a look at the website linked above to determine passenger rail availability.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #31
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It would require massive investments for rail to make sense for regular travel (except Auckland and Wellington commuter services) and even then it would only work on select few routes.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 03:24 AM   #32
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Actually I was asking more about freight...

I understand that in NZ passenger rail is a pretty limited market and would cost a real fortune to make viable.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 05:06 AM   #33
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Digging up this thread to post a few bits of news on NZ railways:

Under-utilised lines under threat

http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-stan...stays-on-track
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Old April 29th, 2013, 04:07 PM   #34
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It looks like railways in NZ are shifting toward a cut-price version of the Australian model of focusing on commuter rail and abandoning inter-city travel - only with less investment than we're seeing in places like Brisbane.

This seems slightly absurd for NZ. In Australia - with a few exceptions like Canberra-Sydney - most urban centres are too far apart to make intercity rail truly viable, but this is certainly not the case in NZ. Auckland-Wellington, Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga, and Christchurch-Dunedin-Invercargill are all well within the distances that suit intercity train travel - and a Christchurch-Wellington integrated train+ferry service should easily be viable.

IIRC the Auckland-Wellington line is of a pretty high standard and almost entirely electrified, so it shouldn't be too difficult to infill the remaining un-wired sections and get some multi-voltage EMUs to provide a more modern modern semi-high-speed 160km/h service, maybe using the QR TiltTrain design.

What sort of condition is the track on South Island in?
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Old April 30th, 2013, 12:33 AM   #35
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Well, just weeks ago a new spur line was opened just outside Christchurch to serve a dairy company. The 600 m link was the first new line built in 60 years.

But apart from that, the network seems quite underused.

http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=542
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Old April 30th, 2013, 12:55 AM   #36
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Kiwi's have love affairs with their cars and that is their number one choice of travel - commuter rail is for plebs. It is a very sad frame of mind but let's hope that a new generation changes that mind-set
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Old April 30th, 2013, 08:44 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
It looks like railways in NZ are shifting toward a cut-price version of the Australian model of focusing on commuter rail and abandoning inter-city travel - only with less investment than we're seeing in places like Brisbane.
It seems that way. Many passenger routes have closed in the last 15 or so years. The only ones left are Wellington to Auckland, Picton to Chch, and Chch to Greymouth. All are of marginal profitability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
This seems slightly absurd for NZ. In Australia - with a few exceptions like Canberra-Sydney - most urban centres are too far apart to make intercity rail truly viable, but this is certainly not the case in NZ. Auckland-Wellington, Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga, and Christchurch-Dunedin-Invercargill are all well within the distances that suit intercity train travel - and a Christchurch-Wellington integrated train+ferry service should easily be viable.
Yes, the distances aren't that far. It's a pity that people are so wedded to their cars here. I think we've got something like 2.5 million registered vehicles for just over 4 million people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
IIRC the Auckland-Wellington line is of a pretty high standard and almost entirely electrified, so it shouldn't be too difficult to infill the remaining un-wired sections and get some multi-voltage EMUs to provide a more modern modern semi-high-speed 160km/h service, maybe using the QR TiltTrain design.
Hamilton to Palmerston North is 25,000V AC. There is no electrification from Auckland to Hamilton (about 140 km). This was electrified back in the 80's to allow more powerful freight trains to cross some steep sections of track between these two cities.

Some sections of the track were upgraded to ease sharp bends, remove about 5 short tunnels and lower the floors of other tunnels to make room for electrification. The original rail route hasn't really changed at all since it was completed in 1908.

As I said, some corners were eased and also parts were strengthened to allow for heavier freight trains. None of the route was upgraded to allow for faster trains. Therefore I think that a 160 km service wouldn't work, not without a massive expenditure to ease probably thousands of sharp bends. NZ is a very hilly country which is why narrow gauge (1067 mm) was initially chosen for rail here.

South of Palmerston North, there is no electrification until Waikanae (a bit over 70 km). The Greater Wellington council recently extended the electrification to Waikanae. This uses 1500V DC, which is what all of the electrified Wellington commuter trains use. There are no other electric lines in NZ now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
What sort of condition is the track on South Island in?
It's ok, the last time I caught a train there. Once again, it follows the same route from the time it was built 70 or more years ago.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYDNEY View Post
Kiwi's have love affairs with their cars and that is their number one choice of travel - commuter rail is for plebs. It is a very sad frame of mind but let's hope that a new generation changes that mind-set
Generally, yes. Wellington and Wairarapa make great use of park and ride facilities to catch trains into Wellington each day. I think Wellington station has something like 15,000 passengers through it each day, which is very good for a country like NZ.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 10:56 AM   #39
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Are there plans to extend the 25 kV electrification? I know that there are plans to electrify Auckland suburban lines, but will they be linked to the main north-south line? Are the new trains in Wellington able or convertible to 25 kV AC?
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Old April 30th, 2013, 01:40 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Are there plans to extend the 25 kV electrification?
No. The electrified section (some 400 km) was completed circa 1990 and was only done over a steeper part of the main trunk line between two main freight distribution points. The rest of the line Auckland - Hamilton and Palmerston North - Wellington is virtually flat and there wouldn't be a great advantage to using electric locos for these sections. Freight trains simply stop at these two cities and change to diesel locos before continuing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
I know that there are plans to electrify Auckland suburban lines, but will they be linked to the main north-south line?
No. The 25 kV stops some 140 km south of Auckland. I'm not sure what Auckland commuter trains will use; I'll have to google it. It might be the same as Wellington's system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Are the new trains in Wellington able or convertible to 25 kV AC?
No (again). They are effectively two separate networks (though connected by a common railway track). There are proposals to extend electrification further north from Waikanae (as far as Otaki I believe, which is another 15 km), but nothing has happened yet.

When electricification was extended to Waikanae, the line was double tracked almost to Waikanae. There are two single rail bridges just to the south of Waikanae (we're talking less than 1 km to the south) that would have to be duplicated for it to be double track all the way to this town.

The North Island main trunk line is all single track from Waikanae to Hamilton (though there are plenty of passing loops along the way of course). From Hamilton to Auckland is all double track.
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