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Not entirely... They could trans-ship incoming milk to rail too... For example tankers collecting milk from all of North Canterbury could theoretically offload their milk at a mode-shifting facility in say Waipara, and then rail that down to Clandeboye...
Fonterra used to ship all the milk from southern Hawkes and the Wairarapa to Whareroa in Taranaki by Rail.

That all came to an end when they spent $200+ million to upgrade and expand their plant at Pahiatua, and tends to indicate that the economics for shipping milk long distances is variable at best,

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/69681072/fonterras-235-million-state-of-the-art-rebuild-of-pahiatua-dairy-factory

Westland have a reverse osmosis plant at Rolleston for its small group of Canterbury suppliers, and again this indicates the economics of shipping full milk (basically water and fat) is pretty sketchy...
 

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Fonterra used to ship all the milk from southern Hawkes and the Wairarapa to Whareroa in Taranaki by Rail.

That all came to an end when they spent $200+ million to upgrade and expand their plant at Pahiatua, and tends to indicate that the economics for shipping milk long distances is variable at best,

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/69681072/fonterras-235-million-state-of-the-art-rebuild-of-pahiatua-dairy-factory

Westland have a reverse osmosis plant at Rolleston for its small group of Canterbury suppliers, and again this indicates the economics of shipping full milk (basically water and fat) is pretty sketchy...
Take your point, and yes, when you consider the initial capital investment, it's possible it's not worth it... But still, I can't help but wonder whether the government have actually done the maths or not (since they would be the ones actually investing in the rail infrastructure)... I suspect they haven't.
 

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New Interislander ferry designs unveiled
KiwiRail has unveiled concept designs for a pair of greener, technologically-advanced ferries it plans to roll out within the next five years.
On Wednesday, KiwiRail said the ferries - which would operate as Interislander services on the Cook Strait between Wellington and Picton - would increase capacity for the "vital" transport link.

 

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Very large ferries, I hope they end up being built in Finland, France or Germany which would give me a good opportunity get get involved. The bow design looks very similar to the Rolls Royce enviroship concept as fitted to HMNZS Aotearoa

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Yeah, the bow and hull will need to be specially designed to handle large waves as well as producing only a very small wake.
 
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