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.
...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.
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.