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Old November 1st, 2009, 10:32 AM   #161
cambennett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaneD View Post
Rail in NZ I think is really only likely to be viable between major cities and towns, on most of the remaining corridors, and used by major bulk industry (coal, dairy, timber, cement, fertilizer) etc. Passenger services will continue to flourish and become more popular for commuters in AK, WN and eventually maybe CH. Regional routes between Auckland and the Waikato/Bay of Plenty are likely eventually too. But long distance inter-regional passenger services is likely to remain a tourist attraction only.
I think you are bang on the money there Kane. Rail wont work like it used to with branches running of into every sparsley populated corner of NZ. The examples you use are exactly how I would see it fitting into NZ's transport mix at the moment.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 02:33 AM   #162
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NZ needs more people. But it is a leaky bucket at the moment - pour them in the front end, they leak out the bottom, hence my call to shut the Australian door to NZ - for your own good.

New Zealand wouldn't have been much use as the England of the South. One England is enough.

Something very different, more like Japan would have been the go. You can keep the existing people in mining and agriculture while bringing more in to create services or industry.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 07:48 AM   #163
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Eco-rat, that'd be a pretty big blow to Australia you realise. It seems to lap immigrants (or at least, long-term NZ visitors) up quite happily. By all means however, send them home, they'd be quite useful. Send some Australians with them if you want.

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Old November 2nd, 2009, 03:42 PM   #164
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England of the South is merely an analogy expressed in the later 19th century by politicians who could see the potential of New Zealand's iron ore industry. While New Zealand maybe geographically isolated it does sit at the doorway of Asia which is much larger than the EU and growing at a much faster rate. So comparisons to Ireland to some degree may not be so rediculous. New Zealand does need to grow its population at a faster rate. 5 millon in the next decade and a half is too small. It really needs to increase at a faster rate possibly at a similar rate to Australia which is not unrealistic if attempts by Key to increase economic growth are realised.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 11:07 AM   #165
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Yes but with Napier and Hastings so close together, the two cities are commonly referred to as one single urban area.

For the record, you could almost argue the same with Tauranga and Mt Maunganui/Papamoa - Although they are both Tauranga City, many people still refer to both places as having distinctly separate identities.

Napier to Hastings via Google's shortest route is 20.8km CDB to CBD
Yeah but Napier and Hastings are completely different towns are way different from one another.

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Originally Posted by KaneD View Post
If it weren't for the Tauranga Harbour bridge, Tauranga to the Mount would be 18.6km (It's only 7km via the bridge). Tauranga to Domain Rd in Papamoa is 16.5km
The Tauranga City boundry includes the Mt, Papamoa and all the other suburbs.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 11:10 AM   #166
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I have never heard that definition of city before, either technically or in common usage.
Its pretty common amongst people I know and one of the weather channels still calls them cities.

Places like Invercargil, Palmy and Napier are big towns, but still rather sleepy compared to places like Tauranga and Hamilton. Up to you, but 100,000 seems to be the magical number to be taken seriously. Even palmy has aspirations to get to that level one day.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 02:09 PM   #167
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This has inspired a poll!
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 09:10 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by otumoetaiNZ View Post
Yeah but Napier and Hastings are completely different towns are way different from one another.

The Tauranga City boundry includes the Mt, Papamoa and all the other suburbs.
They might be different towns/cities, but there are synergies that mean that they interoperate as one city socially. There are infrastructure developments over and above what would be necessary if they were the same two places, but say 100km apart. The Napier-Hastings motorway/expressway would not be needed if the cities were 100km apart. This suggests that the economy of one city relies on the other and vice versa. Even Statistics NZ consider the Napier-Hastings as one Urban Area.

With Tauranga, prior to the 1989 local govt reforms, Mt Maunganui was a separate town, with a separate council. Then, during the reforms, Tauranga was made a District Council, which also encompassed Mt Maunganui with a total district population of in excess of 60,000. When most folk realised that Mt Maunganui for all intended purposes was really a suburban extension to Tauranga, people lobbied for it to be reclassified as a city which it was done in about 1996 I think.

Napier & Hastings do feel smaller, because they are separate towns with 10km of greedfields between them - but there is little denying that they interoperate enough with each other, albeit with different local councils, to be considered as one urban area in much the same way Wellington is considered by many to include Upper Hutt, Porirua etc (which are also separate councils with greenspace between them).
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Old November 4th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #169
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The physical distance between any of those Wellington cities is no more than a few hundred feet (in the case of Upper-Lower Hutt) to 1-2km in the case of the distances between any of the others though. Napier to Hastings is about 8km by the looks of it.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #170
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The closest two points in the urban areas of Wellington and Lower Hutt by road I've measured to be exactly 5km (Start of Ngauranga Northbound on-ramp to Hutt Road finishing at the roundabout at Petone which is the end of the Petone northbound off-ramp)

The two closest points between Napier and Hastings is 10.6km (Evenden/Papakowhai Rd in Hastings to Meeanee/Guppy Rd corner in Napier).

Yes, it is just over double the distance though there isn't really much real development in the Ngauranga interchange area, you have to go another 1-2km further into wellington.

Once Napier and Hastings both reach say 100,000 each, then urban sprawl would probably see the two significantly closer together. I can eventually see Napier becoming more like what Mt Maunganui is now with its shoreline apartments, sprawling coastal suburban areas. Only the beach at Napier is pretty average if I recall.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #171
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With the growth rates in Napier and Hastings its gonna take a hell of a long time for the population to increase that much and I dont think there will be much rail development over there. The golden triangle will be the main growth area in the country for the foreseeable future and thanks to the development money government is pushing into the region thats not going to change for a long time.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #172
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It's unlikely Napier and Hastings will ever merge, not just because of a pretty low growth rate currently but also the plains between the two are the engine that powers the region. That said however, KaneD has hit it on the head I think. Statistics NZ considers them a single urban area and fair enough. You live in either Napier or Hastings and you go looking for a job, you don't really care which city it's in. Commute is short and 1000's of people make the jump every day.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 11:56 PM   #173
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Mainfreight frustrated by attitude to rail services
Thursday November 19, 01:38 PM



Mainfreight continues to be disappointed at the Government's attitude and commitment to rail freight services in this country.

The logistics company believes it is among Kiwirail's top five customers and would double its spend if it got the right rate and services.

"We don't seem to have a lot of dialogue with (Transport Minister Steven) Mr Joyce on what our thoughts are on rail and would like to have more," Mainfreight managing director Don Braid said.

Mainfreight and other logistics companies have always suspected that Toll NZ, which is the rebuilt former land transport business of Tranz Rail, gets a better deal on rail even after rail was sold back to the Government.

Mr Braid said some ground had been made on the issue but the truth would probably never be known.

Mainfreight today reported a 36.5 percent fall in half year profit to $10.9 million, even as conditions in all markets where the company operates were "much improved" in the second quarter.

For the six months to the end of September, Mainfreight's trading revenue fell 14.3 percent from a year earlier to $535.8m, while net profit before abnormals dropped 29.3 percent to $12.2m.

"Importantly, second quarter performance saw revenues and profitability improve markedly from our first quarter's results," Mainfreight said.

Direct comparisons showed revenues up 4.8 percent and ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) up 50.5 percent.

While seasonality of freight volumes was a contributor, trading during the second quarter had seen a general improvement which continued into the third quarter, the company said.

"We welcome the upturn but remain cautious about overall economic conditions in each country where we are located."

Trading during October and November indicated further improvements likely for the third quarter, Mainfreight said.

"We believe that the market will be fragile for the first quarter of calendar 2010, therefore we remain focused on improving margins and sales growth with strong sales campaigns."

An interim dividend of 8.5c per share is to be paid.

In the New Zealand domestic division, ebitda declined 14.5 percent to $14.5m compared with the same period last year, but September 2009 month ebitda exceeded that of September 2008 by 9.8 percent. Sales revenues fell 16.4 percent to $128.4m, down $25.2m from a year earlier.

Domestic freight volumes were rising with increased market share assisting revenues.

In the Australian domestic division ebitda was up 41.5 percent to $6m, while sales revenues fell 4.7 percent to $90.6m.

Warehousing volumes had been strong through September and October as suppliers to retail built stock volumes for Christmas, Mainfreight said.

In the United States , trading continued to be difficult in both the domestic and export sectors. Even with a weak US dollar, export volumes had declined from their peaks at this time last year.

Total revenues fell 24.7 percent to $164.7m, while ebitda for the region was $3m down from $8.4m in the year prior.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 08:18 AM   #174
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Fonterra plans new rail spur

Dairy giant Fonterra is proposing to build a railway spur across State Highway 1, north of its Edendale dairy factory, as it plans for a major increase in production and transporting most of it off-site by rail.

Fonterra has lodged a land use consent application with the Southland District Council for the new railway line, which would run from the new dry store, at the northern end of the plant, through company-owned farmland and across the state highway, about 650m north, to join with the main south trunk line.

There would also be a new sidings yard 100m north of the dry store, for marshalling wagons.

Fonterra wants permission to use the line 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It estimates that initially there would be six trains a day. Each train movement would involve 16 wagons and take between three and four minutes to cross the state highway.

In its application, Fonterra states there were about 4000 vehicles a day over the section of road. However, traffic volumes were expected to substantially reduce in a couple of years when it was expected a new state highway bypass would be completed, it says.

The new railway crossing was needed to enable the company to cope with the estimated 135,000-tonne increase in production delivered by its new milk powder plant expansion.

In the year ended July 2009, almost 250,000 tonnes of product were moved off the Edendale site, about 75 per cent of it by rail.

Fonterra's objective was to increase the percentage of product shifted by rail to 95 per cent. It would go to a new storage and distribution centre in Mosgiel then on to Port Otago.

The plant was at present serviced by a line at the southern end, which crosses state highway 1 at the south-east corner of the site. There were 24 train movements a day and these were restricted to between four and eight wagons, because of the size of the shunters and grade of the line.

Continued use of this line was not considered suitable because it was too close to Edendale township. However, it would still be used about 12 times a day to move cheese and some packaging.

The public can make submissions on the application until February 3.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-tim...-new-rail-spur

Last edited by Richard7666; January 22nd, 2010 at 08:30 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:19 AM   #175
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Port profit up 50%, rail operation improves efficiency



Published 19 February 2010

Ports of Auckland Ltd improved its net profit after tax from $9.3 million to $13.9 million in the December half and will pay the region a $9.9 million dividend.



The port company is owned by Auckland Regional Holdings, a subsidiary of the Auckland Regional Council, and will fall under the wing of the new Auckland Council at the end of the year.



Managing director Jens Madsen was pleased at the result, achieved during a period of lower trade volumes as a result of the global economic recession.



Port operations ebit improved by 4.6% to $27.4 million although revenue fell 6.8% to $82 million. That took the port operations ebit margin to its best level since 2006 – a 33.4% margin compared to 26.3% in the June half.



Mr Madsen said the overall improvement in result was also due to a number of long-term initiatives starting to pay off, among them the growth in business at the Wiri Inland Port, which received its first train on 3 February.



While rail will become more important – and, in time, transfer of containers from ship directly to rail, bypassing the wharf storage phase – Mr Madsen said road freight would continue to dominate for the foreseeable future.



The inland port’s capacity is far above what it’s handling at the moment – capacity of 500,000 teus (20ft-equivalent container units), 80,000 handled last year. The joint company with the NZL Group Ltd, CONLINXX Ltd, has a target of getting 25% of containers to & from Wiri by rail. Mr Madsen said that rail service would probably deliver 16-17% of containers on an annualised basis in the next year.



One feature of the rail service is that it provides a more consistent flow of freight. But even with the rail service and an improvement in the region’s arterial road network, Mr Madsen said a recent study indicated the growth in traffic would keep congestion in a decade about the same as it is now.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:59 AM   #176
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KiwiRail positive despite missing targets
5:46 PM Tuesday Mar 2, 2010



Jim Bolger said KiwiRail was making good progress towards a sustainable future. Photo / Paul EstcourtKiwiRail is behind its revenue and profit targets for the half year to December but says it is "making good progress towards a sustainable future".

The state owned enterprise, which owns the rail companies, Interislander ferries and Dunedin's Hillside Engineering, today released its financial results for the six months ended December 2, 2009.

Chairman Jim Bolger said comparisons with the half year to December 2008 were difficult because the Government took over the business during that period.

Comparison with targets set for the year in KiwiRail's Statement of Corporate Intent (SCI) were more valid, he said.

KiwiRail said revenue of $299.7 million was just over 8 per cent below the SCI target of $327.8m, but earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) of $16.1m were almost 12 per cent up on target of $14.4m.

The net profit after tax figure of $125.6m was 66 per cent below the SCI target.


For 2010 KiwiRail budgeted a profit of $348.3m.

However, that includes a government grant of $500m for new Auckland trains and without that it is forecasting a loss of $151.7m.

The full half year accounts will be tabled in Parliament tomorrow.

Despite difficult trading conditions over the first six months of the 2009-10 financial year, KiwiRail was making good progress towards a sustainable future, Mr Bolger said.

"During the half year, we made considerable progress towards improving relationships with key customers and we took significant steps towards improving the reliability of the business. However, there is a lot more to do as highlighted by the recent issues in Wellington that affected our customers," he said.

Freight carried on rail during the first six months of the financial year was only marginally down on the same period the year before, despite industrial action which reduced coal volumes.

During the half year KiwiRail signed an agreement with Fonterra to move greater volumes of dairy produce by rail, committed to buying 20 new diesel electric locomotives and the commissioned the Arahura Road-Rail bridge on the West Coast.

"Our work on the Auckland and Wellington urban rail projects represents the biggest upgrades since the networks were first established."

Over the next six months, KiwiRail was looking to increase revenue and manage operating and capital expenditure, Mr Bolger said.

The ebitda target of $59.6m for the 2010 financial year of $59.6 remained the company's objective.

The Government paid Australia's Toll Holdings for $690m in July 2008 for the rail company. The price was widely criticised and less than a year later the rail assets were valued at just $349 million.

KiwiRail receives $90m a year from the Government.

- NZPA
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Old March 7th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #177
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Choo-choos potentially go bye-bye for Gisborne, northern Wairarapa

Quote:
Provincial rail lines could close as the government moves to get KiwiRail back on track financially.

Bought with great fanfare for $690 million, KiwiRail is now worth about half that much and National wants the rail company back on its financial feet.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce told ONE News political editor Guyon Espiner that one of the options being talked about is closing down parts of the network that aren't going to be commercially viable.

"It has been talked about...probably the most likely option would be a few of the really small lines," says Joyce.

"There's very little business currently on the Gisborne line and there's virtually no business on the northern Wairarapa line."

KiwiRail is now working through its options with the government.

But Joyce says closing some lines which don't have enough revenue just lifts the fixed costs on every other line and he says such a move "would have to be done very carefully".
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KiwiRail has given the government a business plan to map out how it can become viable without taxpayer subsidies. The exact details of that plan remain secret but its latest financial result has been tabled in parliament and the numbers are not good.

The company did declare a $125 million profit - 34% below its target - but without public funding of $260 million KiwiRail would have made a loss of about $135 million.

However Labour says National is taking a shortsighted view.

"It seems crazy to me that we're going to see a doubling in the amount of freight moving around New Zealand in the next two decades and the government is seriously considering closing off options for rail," transport spokesman Darren Hughes says.

And National is promising careful consideration of the situation, acknowledging that once a rail line is closed, it's gone for good.

High class rail network needed

A transport expert says it would be a mistake to get rid of New Zealand's rail corridor. But Chris Kissling says the country needs a higher class main trunk system.

The Professor Emeritus of Transport at Lincoln University told TVNZ News at 8 that our rail network is incomplete and a lot of money would be needed to bring it up to scratch.

"Patronage on any transport system relies upon the quality and level of services provided," says Kissling, adding that other forms of transport are beating rail hands down including on frequency and price.

He says it is ludicrous that rail is slower than road in New Zealand which doesn't happen in any other country. Kissling says speeds need to be higher so rail traffic can reach further in 24 hours and compete with other modes of transport.

If you close a railway it's very hard to get back again, says Kissling who believes rail is necessary to move around heavy bulk commodities. But he says coastal shipping, which is also "in a pretty sad state", could provide the backbone of NZ's transport system.

Kissling says other modes of transport can substitute for rail but the electrification of the rail network using renewable sources would also have environmental benefits and would ensure security of supply as energy gets scarce.

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/end-...rvices-3393178
I'd love ACTUAL passenger train services in the South Island, ie not just tourist ones. A service like the Southerner would be really useful for me. Anyone know how fast that train actually went?

Last edited by Richard7666; March 7th, 2010 at 07:48 AM.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #178
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I'd love ACTUAL passenger train services in the South Island, ie not just tourist ones. A service like the Southerner would be really useful for me. Anyone know how fast that train actually went?
From http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentTOC____3403.aspx

Quote:
4.2 Situation
The Current Service

The Southerner rail service runs daily from Christchurch to Invercargill and from Invercargill to Christchurch. The south-bound service leaves Christchurch at 8:15am, arriving in Dunedin at 2:01pm (5 hours, 45 minutes) and Invercargill at 5:15pm (9 hours total). The north-bound services leave Invercargill at 8:25am, arriving in Christchurch at 5:15pm (8 hours 50 minutes).

Between Christchurch and Dunedin, stops are made at Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru and Palmerston. Between Dunedin and Invercargill, stops are made at Mosgiel, Milton, Balclutha, Gore, Mataura and Edendale. No stops of any significant duration are made en route. The longest stop made is in Dunedin (10-15 minutes).
Google Maps says CHC-DUN is 350 odd KM, so the average speed is around 60km/h for that section, CHC-INV is 560 km, and again the average speed is just over 60km/h
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Old March 8th, 2010, 08:51 AM   #179
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That's not bad. Including stops for refreshments etc it takes about 8 hours Inv to Chch by car.

Anyone remember ticket prices?
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Old March 8th, 2010, 10:26 AM   #180
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That's not bad. Including stops for refreshments etc it takes about 8 hours Inv to Chch by car.

Anyone remember ticket prices?
Between $40 and $80 depending on your seat, bookings etc ... The age of cut price airfares and door to door shuttles killed it.
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