Thats good news for kiwi rail, I wonder if they will reinstate the 3rd leg of the triangle at Aramoho to allow trains to run direct without having to cross the river twice to reverese at East town?
Now all we need is for another inland port in the Waikato and for the port authorities to demand the reopening of the SOL to service it.
The first train laden with milk powder which is expected to leave North Taieri this morning also carries a huge significance.
The seven- or eight-carriage train will carry the first milk powder taken by rail for export from Fonterra's new $69 million storage and transit facility.
It will take about 224 tonnes of milk powder from the former Fisher and Paykel plant site to Port Chalmers in containers, which will be stacked on a ship to be sent overseas.
Confirming the details yesterday, warehouse manager Tim Eketone said the "movement" was a significant milestone for the farmer-owned dairy co-operative.
Storing, and moving by rail, milk products from the North Taieri site would save money, boost local employment and save wear and tear on local roads.
The 120 daily truck movements through Mosgiel would be cut by about 80% when train movements peaked at about four trains a day, Mr Eketone said.
There were 26 operations staff, mostly forklift drivers, at the site, and another five already working for Fonterra in Dunedin would join the coolstore, Mr Eketone said.
The first train also heralds the completion of the coolstore and railway sidings in Fonterra's staged redevelopment of the old Fisher and Paykel plant on Stedman Rd.
The warehouse, for product from Fonterra's Edendale and Stirling factories, can store 17,000 tonnes of cool storage.
Its dry product capacity was unavailable yesterday.
Plans to extend the coolstore were still being discussed, Mr Eketone said.
The co-operative in February floated the idea of turning the hub into an inland port for importers and exporters, to make use of improved rail lines and significant regional storage.
It would mean containers full of imported products would be emptied on the site so the containers could be refilled with dairy products for export.
Castlecliff Branch Line
Regular rail traffic is to resume shortly on the Castlecliff branch line in Wanganui to collect containerised export product for Open Country Dairy. The extent of work needed to prepare the four km line is currently being scoped by the KiwiRail Network team.
At this stage one return service a day is planned along the line, says KiwiRail Freight National manager IMEX, Mike Lambert.
“A rail served load out facility will be built at the inland port facility setup by the Port Taranaki and a consortium of local businesses, next to the dairy factory warehouse. With the multi-year transport contract with OCD secured, the growth prospects for this area are looking good.”
The line has not been used for regular services since 2004.
Westland Milk Going Strong
Our new business carrying bulk milk and finished product for Westland Dairy is going strong.
Key Account executive Nicole Woodgate say dedicated services are running at capacity in both directions since a new operation began in August to carry bulk milk across the Southern Alps from Canterbury to Hokitika. This has complemented existing arrangements to bring finished product back to Canterbury for export.
“Westland Dairy has now acquired their own fleet of tanks for the service, so we are sending these across to the West Coast full with their empty containers, which come back full to their Rolleston facility. We then take export from Rolleston out to Lyttelton,” Nicole says.
“This is a seven-days a week business and there is a good future for it, but we may need to look at some infrastructure improvements on the Coast if we want to grow capacity.”
(From the New Zealand Transport Intelligence Website)
KiwiRail is upgrading its less than trainload coal handling capacity ordering 80 new HLC coal containers. The existing containers are effectively worn out and the replacements will support the ongoing movement of containerised coal for Eastern Coal and Solid Energy. The new containers will also help overcome health and safety concerns with the existing containers when ice forms on the walkways. Instead the new containers come with wind-up tarpaulins which can be operated from ground level. The first of the new ISO-standard 20-foot open containers will be delivered about mid-November.
Meanwhile in support of its coal traffic in Southland, KiwiRail Network has a programme under way over the next few years on the Wairio Branch Line to ensure it can continue to carry coal to Fonterra's Clandeboye plant for the long term. The work involves replacement of some 32,000 sleepers and welding the rail joints over the 75km route from Makarewa to Nightcaps. KiwiRail has also taken delivery of the first of 70 TSL class containers to carry dairy products in the South Island. These will be delivered in two shipments to Dunedin to have their curtains and load-securing gear fitted by the Container Maintenance team.
KiwiRail Principal Design Engineer Tony Pepperell says the 25-foot containers- two of which can be fitted on a standard wagon - are effectively the next-generation of TSDs and have been both lightened and had their loading areas enlarged. Because they never get lifted when loaded, he says KiwiRail found it could save some weight and get another 50mm height in the side opening for forktrucks and thereby lessen the likelihood of damage. To be used mainly for dry products from the Edendale factory, the containers are expected to progressively enter service from mid-November.
I understand that Holcim have put of a final desicion on the new cement plant at weston until next year whilst they re examine costings. Thus do not expect any news on relaying the branch to service the new works for some months yet.
KiwiRail’s efforts to move a glut of
milk from the upper South Island
across to the North Island for
processing at short notice has
drawn high praise from Fonterra.
With dairy herds in full flush, the
Clandeboye dairy factory in South
Canterbury was at capacity so
an urgent call came through for
volumes that would usually head
south from Blenheim to be diverted
to Whareroa in South Taranaki
South Island Customer services
staff Greg Bowron and Auckland
LSM Craig Stewart sprung into
action to put a plan together and
worked through the weekend and
across the early part of this week to
manage the movement of more than
1 million litres of milk, using a mix of
rail and road transport. The teams
at the Blenheim and Palmerston
North CT sites kept their sites open
and worked the extra hours needed
to move the product.
Fonterra’s Logistics Planning
Manager for Milk Supply, Keith
Roach was quick to voice his thanks
for their efforts in managing the
situation at short notice.
“The many late night calls paid off -
to do what we did was nothing less
than incredible,” he says.
“Arranging for us to communicate
directly to the captain of the ship
and key people in the movement
was certainly a key factor in this
“While I fear we may have created
a monster in doing this movement
at short notice it comes down to the
relationship we have built with each
Meanwhile another member of the
Customer services team has been
putting in long hours to manage our
dairy traffic at the other end of the
Evelyn Hamel has been coming
into work in the small hours of the
morning to keep a close eye on our
new Edendale services and iron
out any glitches that arise. These
are carrying finished product to
Fonterra’s new Mosgiel hub and
Port Chalmers. For Evelyn being
able to put in place contingencies in
the first week means that she can
rest easier as this new traffic settles
in to a normal routine.
Fonterra's controversial milk processing plant planned near Darfield has been given the go-ahead.
Resource consents for the dairy giant's proposed $150 million factory have been granted by an independent panel, just over a month since the hearing finished and five months after consents were lodged.
The decision reveals Fonterra bought the neighbouring boutique bed and breakfast Oaks Historic Homestead, owned by the factory's fiercest opponent, Madeleine de Jong, seemingly paving the way for the development.
Fonterra, which already runs nine dairy processing plants in the South Island, expects construction of its new factory to start by the middle of next year – if it is not appealed.
Fonterra's New Zealand operations director Brent Taylor said the company was "reasonably confident" of gaining consent and the company hoped to start operating by August 2012.
Fonterra had been negotiating with de Jong for several months.
Buying her land was an agreement between a "willing buyer and a willing seller", he said.
De Jong said the Selwyn district plan's permissiveness had forced her out.
"At least Fonterra has done the decent thing and come up with a ... settlement for me and I can move on."
In the decision, commissioners acknowledged a "considerable" number of people, mainly from the Darfield area, opposed the development.
"We consider that their fears are overstated and the plant will not affect them as much as they believe it will," the decision said.
Opponent Liz Weir, of Coalgate, was disappointed but not surprised by the decision. "Fonterra's a big company which is making the country money – no-one's going to step in their way."
An appeal was "highly unlikely" because of the expense, she said.
Another opponent, Reuben Hunt, of Coalgate, said it was a sad day for Darfield and the surrounding area.
Selwyn District Mayor Kelvin Coe said considering the economic climate the granting of consents was good news. "It's good to see commercial growth on the western side of Selwyn District and I'm sure it will lead to residential growth."
The factory, sitting on a 680-hectare site 3.5 kilometres from Darfield, will be capable of producing up to 16 tonnes of milk powder per hour.
The building will be up to 52 metres high, with a 60m-high smokestack.
The commissioners admitted the major industrial complex would adversely affect rural character and amenity, while tanker trips through Darfield would significantly increase.
Sulphur dioxide discharges from the 30 megawatt, probably coal-fired boiler "would be minor" and effects on Darfield's ambient air quality "are acceptable", they said.
Because of potential effects on groundwater nitrate concentrations from wastewater produced by the factory, extra conditions had been added as a "backstop".
However, the decision said the new factory would not encourage dairy conversions in the Darfield area and the buildings, milk tankers and, potentially, railway wagons would be almost completely screened from the site's boundaries "within a few years".
Although economic benefits were difficult to quantify, they added up to a "formidable positive factor", the commissioners said.
Oaks Historic Homestead was all but destroyed in September's earthquake...so you can see why de Jong took the money.
Darfield is a lovely place and desirable to many as a retirement area. The town is the reason why there is that 'kink' in what would have been a straight line to Sheffield. Today's Tramway road was the orginal alignment but lobbying by locals got the line diverted onto it's present course before track was laid. The Tranz Alpine passes through it daily, and it was once the junction of the Whitecliffs Branch.
Fonterra are good corporate citizens and siting the factory 3.5kms away from the town was always the intention.
From KiwiRail Express:
Dairy traffic justifies branch line re-opening.
The growth in the dairy industry has lead to a re-opening of the Castlecliff branch line, with Open Country Cheese shipping milk powder from the Wanganui branch line to a warehouse on the Castlecliff line.
The line was closed 8 years ago because of economic conditions at the time, KiwiRail Network central regional manager Walter Rushbrook said. While it is not currently fit for purpose, it is in reasonable condition. Some removal of vegetation, upgrading of ballast and sleepers, and fastening work is being done to bring it up to standard.
That work, and a loading area upgrade to be carried out by the warehouse owners, is expected to be completed by the end of this month. A decision has yet to be made when the trains will start running along the re-opened branch line. When the Castlecliff line does open, four level crossings will be reinstated. That will involve important work to reduce risk from the proposed timetable of four trains a night (between 6pm and 7am) travelling at 25 km/h.
KiwiRail signals planning engineer Roy Percival said a Flashing Lights and Bells alarm system is to be installed at the Heads Road 3.67km crossing, hopefully by the end of this year. This should be before the line is re-opened for trains, but if trains are required to operate before the alarms are commissioned then “alarms not working” signs would be installed on the flashing light masts and a temporary 10 km/h speed restriction imposed on train movements.
The other crossing on Heads Road (3.08km) is also eligible for FLB alarms, and has been added to the Road Level Crossing Upgrading Priority List. It is expected to be installed by the end of 2013. Before then, it will have “Give Way” and “Railway Crossing” signs on both sides.
The crossings on Bedford Avenue and Balgownie Avenue are expected to have light traffic use. The
Bedford Ave crossing will be protected with a “stop” plus a “Railway Crossing” sign on both sides of the crossing. Balgownie Ave will have “Give Way” and “Railway Crossing” signs on both sides of the railway.
Kiwi rail press release:
CHINA CNR CORPORATION PREFERRED TENDERER FOR SUPPLY OF 300 WAGONS China CNR Corporation (CNR) is KiwiRail's preferred supplier of 300 CFT (container flat deck wagons) needed urgently to bolster its ageing wagon fleet, KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn confirmed today.
For immediate release
14 December, 2010
CHINA CNR CORPORATION PREFERRED TENDERER FOR SUPPLY OF 300 WAGONS
China CNR Corporation (CNR) is KiwiRail’s preferred supplier of 300 CFT (container flat deck wagons) needed urgently to bolster its ageing wagon fleet, KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn confirmed today.
The 300 wagons are expected to cost approximately $29 million and be delivered by mid 2011. The order is the first stage of a process to replace more than 3,000 wagons over a 10 year period.
"The average age of container flat wagons in our fleet is almost 30 years," said Mr Quinn. "Their age and condition is compromising our ability to meet the growing needs of our customers.
"The new wagons will enable us to respond to the market growth we are experiencing and retire those that are most prone to mechanical problems."
Mr Quinn said KiwiRail had considered nine bids to build the wagons, including one from its own Hillside Workshops.
"The bids were evaluated on a range of financial and non-financial considerations. Hillside emerged as the third best bid but unfortunately not close enough to the CNR bid to justify a local build."
Mr Quinn said the Hillside Workshops bid was approximately 25 percent more expensive than the CNR tender. Evaluators also considered Hillside would not be able to create the capability required to produce the wagons meet the delivery time needed by the market.
"The decision reflects our need to get the best possible value for the limited money we have to rebuild our business and to apply that money to the projects that will improve our relevance to our customers."
However, he said the tender process had raised the possibility of Hillside being able to import components and assemble wagons for KiwlRail’s future needs. Work will begin early in 2011 on examining options for local assembly of wagons in the future. However, again this will need to close the gap significantly if is to be an option we will pursue.
"We have also reviewed our costs to build locomotives against a re-checked price from CNR our current supplier for the DL Locomotives. That review has shown that our workshops would be around 70 percent more expensive supplying locomotives.
"We will not be pursuing local build or assembly for future locomotive orders as this shows that the gap is simply too great to close."
Mr Quinn said improving the quality of rolling stock is essential for KiwiRail to improve service for its freight customers and deliver on the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan commitment to double freight revenue in ten years.
"This is a huge challenge, but I believe with the combination of the new rolling stock, network improvements, new technology and a greater focus on customer service we will get there."
He said CNR is a proven supplier to the rail industry in New Zealand. The company built 100 IM wagons which went into service in late 2008. Its Dalian plant has been building KiwiRail’s 20 new diesel electric locomotives.
This wagon build was a forgone conclusion. Kiwirail really needs to get value for money since finding it is about to get tighter. It is an urgent order. The IM fleet currently in operation have performed very well considering they were a failed Pacific Rail order adapted for NZ.
Note that the press release does mention assembling future builds of wagons at Hillside using imported components. Many wagons were built this way by the NZR back in the 50's and 60's.
Well wanderer, it looks like it's going to happen. It will take twenty years to build and pretty much swallow up all of Tainui's TGH Rautapu Settlement land at Ruakura. It will cover a land area the size of Auckland's CBD. It will cost $3bil and be the largest commercial development in NZs history. Rail will play a massive role as at least half a million container units will pass through the site on a yearly basis. Also it is proposed that a massive upgrade of a more direct link to the Airport and it's development would allow for a spur line to be added. This of course will get a direct link to the superhighway....
The rail facilities are the main focus of the development and Kiwirail is willing to help in rail layout and maintainance.
Greenshoots at last!
I have long thought that Hamilton would become the promary distrubution centre for NZ and I guess that this development will help move much of south Aucklands wharehousing to Hamilton. This of course also has implications for the Auckland port facilities.
A report by an international consultancy firm
predicts that within 21 years, the Waikato will be
the largest generator of freight in New Zealand.
The report was prepared to support the proposal
by Tainui Group Holdings to build an inland
port and commercial hub near Ruakura, east of
Hamilton. The research firm, Castalia, said that
by 2031 the Waikato will have overtaken Auckland
as the largest generator of freight and will be the
country’s third largest destination for freight. Tainui
Group Holdings is the investment arm of the Tainui
tribe. The inland port will store and transfer freight
between road and rail. It will cover more than 28
hectares and TGH chief executive Mike Pohio says
it would be capable of handling 500,000 containers
a year when fully developed.
China CNR Corporation (CNR) is KiwiRail’s
preferred supplier of 300 CFT (container flat
deck wagons) needed urgently to bolster its
ageing wagon fleet, KiwiRail Chief Executive
Jim Quinn announced on Tuesday.
The 300 wagons are expected to cost
approximately $29 million and be delivered
by mid 2011. The order is the first stage of a
process to replace more than 3,000 wagons
over a 10 year period.
“The average age of container flat wagons in
our fleet is almost 30 years,” said Jim Quinn.
“Their age and condition is compromising
our ability to meet the growing needs of our
“The new wagons will enable us to respond to
the market growth we are experiencing and
retire those that are most prone to mechanical
Jim Quinn said KiwiRail had considered nine
bids to build the wagons, including one from
“The bids were evaluated on a range of
financial and non-financial considerations.
Hillside emerged as the third best bid but
unfortunately not close enough to the CNR bid
to justify a local build.”
Hillside Workshops’ bid was approximately 25
percent more expensive than the CNR tender.
Evaluators also considered Hillside would not
be able to create the capability required to
produce the wagons meet the delivery time
needed by the market.
“The decision reflects our need to get the best
possible value for the limited money we have
to rebuild our business and to apply that money
to the projects that will improve our relevance
to our customers.”
However, he said the tender process had
raised the possibility of Hillside being able to
import components and assemble wagons for
KiwlRail’s future needs. Work will begin early in
2011 on examining options for local assembly of
wagons in the future. However, again this will
need to close the gap significantly if is to be an
option we will pursue.
“We have also reviewed our costs to build
locomotives against a re-checked price
from CNR our current supplier for the DL
Locomotives. That review has shown that our
workshops would be around 70 percent more
expensive supplying locomotives.
“We will not be pursuing local build or assembly
for future locomotive orders as this shows that
the gap is simply too great to close.”
Jim Quinn said improving the quality of rolling
stock is essential for KiwiRail to improve
service for its freight customers and deliver on
the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan commitment to
double freight revenue in ten years.
“This is a huge challenge, but I believe with the
combination of the new rolling stock, network
improvements, new technology and a greater
focus on customer service we will get there.”
He said CNR is a proven supplier to the rail
industry in New Zealand. The company built 100
IM wagons which went into service in late 2008.
Its Dalian plant has been building KiwiRail’s 20
new diesel electric locomotives.
Note an error in the following article. Train services on the branch will consist of 2 daytime return workings each day, not 4 services at night.
The Castlecliff branch line is expected to be re-opened within the
next eight weeks.
The line was closed eight years ago because of economic conditions
at the time. It is due to soon provide rail access to a warehouse on
KiwiRail Freight National Manager IMEX, Mike Lambert says the
Line is being re-opened after KiwiRail secured a term contract
with Open Country Dairy to move their empty, import and export
containers on rail.
“Open Country Dairy produce dairy powder at their Wanganui
plant,” he says. “This is stored at Ali Arc Logistics warehouse where
it is packed into export containers.”
The current operation has empty containers railed to KiwRail’s CT
site at Taupo Quay and road bridged to Ali Arc’s warehouse. Full
containers are then carried back by road and and then railed to
Work is been carried out to bring the line up to standard for trains to resume. This includes installing level crossings, removal of vegetation,
upgrading of ballast and sleepers, and fastening work. Four level crossings have been re-instated. Work has been carried out to reduce risk
from the proposed timetable of four trains a night (between 6pm and 7am) travelling at 25 km/h.
KiwiRail signals planning engineer Roy Percival said a Flashing Lights and Bells alarm system has been installed at the Heads Road 3.67km
The other crossing on Heads Road (3.08km) is also eligible for FLB alarms, and has been added to the Road Level Crossing Upgrading Priority
List. It is expected to be installed by the end of 2013. Before then, it will have “Give Way” and “Railway Crossing” signs on both sides.
The crossings on Bedford Avenue and Balgownie Avenue are expected to have light traffic use. The Bedford Ave crossing will be protected
with a “stop” plus a “Railway Crossing” sign on both sides of the crossing. Balgownie Ave will have “Give Way” and “Railway Crossing” signs
on both sides of the railway.
Bathurst Resources, the Australian company developing a large open cut coal mine in the Buller region of New Zealand's South Island, says the project has reached a "key milestone".
The dual-listed company today said it had signed a heads of agreement with Westport to gain exclusive use of a coal handling facility.
Bathurst chief executive Hamish Bohannan said Westport Harbour would build the plant, including a coal unloading system, stockpile area, ship loader and wharf.
Coal would be transported by rail to the port, where it would be stockpiled before being shipped out.
Bathurst would pay Westport Harbour for the coal-handling plant, which he said should be "first class".
Coal volumes are expected to reach two million tonnes within th ree years.
Bathurst bought the Buller coal project from L&M Coal. It has an exploration target of 60 million to 90 million tonnes of coal.
The Buller coalfield is one of the country's most significant fields, accounting for about half of New Zealand's coking coal.
It is situated in an historical coal region close to ports and infrastructure and will provide high-quality coking coal
Press Release Source: NZPA On Wednesday 23 February 2011, 15:40
State-owned coal miner Solid Energy is stockpiling coal destined for foreign markets at its mines until its export logistics chain through Lyttelton Port of Christchurch is operational.
"We expect to issue force majeure notices for the interruptions to shipments that we suffer as a result of the Christchurch earthquake event," chief operating officer Barry Bragg said.
The company's mining operations are continuing to operate as normal.
The company exports coal from mines on the West Coast via a rail route to Christchurch and via Lyttelton. Its head office is in Christchurch in the suburb of Addington, and is damaged but an emergency team is operating from it.
The miner is waiting for reports from KiwiRail and Lyttelton Port of Christchurch.
Solid Energy has revenues of $690 million a year. It exported 1.7 million tonnes of coal in the year to June 30, 2010.
Re: Westport. A huge boost but it does raise a question of What IF? That is should Solid Energy decide to switch their coal through Westport vice Lyttelton? And what impact would this have on the Midland? Would the existing coal out of Greymouth, the Reefton Ore/ Westland dairies provide enough ommph to keep the Midland going? (It would free up more paths for passenger trains I suppose )
I beleive that the plan for westport is to use barges to New Plymouth or perhaps some other port so by the time there has been the extra handling the differnce in cost to the present lyttleton operation is probably not that great. I would expect Solid energy to continue with the current operation. However the additional tonnages that would require sparking the Otira Tunnel may not now materalise.
Once the bridge over the Heathcoate river is repaired, the coal route will be up and running. The port's load out facility isn't damage and the tunnel has been given the all clear for trains. However this earthquake clearly shows up the venerablity of the line and Solid Energy must now be considering the use of Westport and/or an off shore slurry pipeline jetty as a very feasible option right now. With Pike River Coal all but history, the Midland Line will have some real concerns if the pipeline was to be realised.
The coal loading terminal at lyttleton has been damaged and no date is given for its return to use. See extract from Kiwi rail newsletter in the eartquake thread.
Westport along with the whole Westcoast is much more at risk of earthquake damage than the Christchurch Lyttleton area ever will be though.
A decision on whether Holcim will build a new $400
million cement plant served by a dedicated rail line, has been
postponed until later this year. The plant has been mooted
for some time. Last year the Otago Regional Council and
Waitaki District Council granted the consents needed to make
it happen – along with the consent to re-open the branch
railway line from Waireka to Weston to carry raw materials
in and cement out to Timaru. Holcim New Zealand’s capital
projects manager Ken Cowie says the proposal has been
reviewed by Holcim’s parent company which will make the
final decision. He says Holcim in New Zealand still hopes for
a decision this year, but later rather than earlier