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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Joint venture about to

deliver new log traffic

KiwiRail will shortly begin hauling export logs

from Wairarapa to Wellington by rail as part of a

joint venture with Forest Enterprises, stevedore

C3 and Centreport.

It is expected the new business will involve

around 80,000 tonnes of export logs moved

each year from a transfer yard at Waingawa near

Masterton that will mean 10 wagons a day, five

days a week, added to the existing Masterton to

Wellington freight service.

KiwiRail Freight’s National Manager Bulk and

Forestry, Steve Muir, says new log bolsters bought

last year and attached to UK wagons will be used

to provide the service.

“It is a venture that we have been looking at with

exporters for some time and have conducted

a number of trials over the years,” he says.

“However the arrival of new wagons and log

bolsters last year has enabled us to move ahead

with this on a long term basis.” The rail operations will start next week. KiwiRail

owns the nine-hectare site at Waingawa which

was already rail served. Some minor work will be

carried out to prepare the site and rail siding for

the task ahead, Steve Muir says.

Meanwhile a further 76 sets of the bolsters,

to supplement the first 24 sets which arrived

towards the end of last year are currently being

attached to wagons at Kinleith.

These are being progressively released into the

business to cater for new forestry business both

in the Bay of Plenty, and southern North Island.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Bulk and IMEX revenues grow but Domestic static

KiwiRail Freight revenue has continued

to increase in the bulk and import-export

sectors, but remained static for domestic,

results for the first half of the 2011-12

financial year show.

Chairman John Spencer said bulk freight

revenue increased by almost 10 percent due

to the highly productive dairy season and

continued demand for forestry products.

“The import-export volume growth of 16

percent reflects a lift in volumes from a

range of customers, but in particular export

dairy,” he said. “We expect the growth in this

segment of the freight business to continue

as we add more rolling stock capacity and

customers.

“Domestic freight business is flat across

the whole country, particularly the reduced

demand from Christchurch.”

“We, like many others in the transport

industry, hope this business increases once the Christchurch re-build gathers

momentum.”

The other parts of the KiwiRail business

have experienced different issues that have

impacted on their expected revenue results.

“While Interislander did increase its revenue,

the planned increase in costs associated

with the Aratere stretch project has led to a

reduction in the business’ EBITDA result,”

said John Spencer.

“As we announced last year, the original

budget for this project is expected to be

exceeded by at least $10 million. We are still

finalising the total cost with the suppliers

and we expect this will be concluded before

the end of this financial year.

“Now that the ship is in full service and

performing well we expect to see the benefits

of greater freight and passenger carrying

capacity to flow into the business over the

next few years.” John Spencer said the Tranz Metro business,

while recording an increase in passenger

numbers, experienced a reduction in

EBITDA due to the transfer of a large

number of assets to Greater Wellington

Regional Council.

“The tourism focused Tranz Scenic business

continues to be impacted by the Christchurch

earthquakes and the subsequent major

downturn in the region’s tourism market.”

John Spencer said that while KiwiRail

is still pursuing partnership options for

TranzScenic, the business is taking a closer

look at the individual services and how their

performance can be improved.

“For example the Overlander business

should not be impacted by the situation in

Christchurch, but revenue year on year is

still falling and we are investigating what

changes could be made to reverse this trend,”

he said

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

KiwiRail invests in coal capacity

Friday, March 02, 2012  

NEW ZEALAND's state railway KiwiRail has placed an order for 100 new bulk coal containers for use on its South Island domestic coal services. The 3m-high containers will be dedicated to the Nightcaps -Temuka service which carries coal from the Takitimu mine in Southland to the South Canterbury factory of dairy company Fonterra.

The containers will be delivered in time for the start of the next dairy season on August 1 and will complement 80 new HCL containers added to the fleet in 2010.

The investment comes as KiwiRail completes a major year-long refurbishment of the Nightcaps branch line, which involved laying new sleepers and ballast. This has boosted the line speed from 25 to 40km/h.

 
alexjc Deputy Commissioner

KiwiRail invests in coal capacity

Friday, March 02, 2012  

NEW ZEALAND's state railway KiwiRail has placed an order for 100 new bulk coal containers for use on its South Island domestic coal services. The 3m-high containers will be dedicated to the Nightcaps -Temuka service which carries coal from the Takitimu mine in Southland to the South Canterbury factory of dairy company Fonterra.

The containers will be delivered in time for the start of the next dairy season on August 1 and will complement 80 new HCL containers added to the fleet in 2010.

The investment comes as KiwiRail completes a major year-long refurbishment of the Nightcaps branch line, which involved laying new sleepers and ballast. This has boosted the line speed from 25 to 40km/h.

- wanderer53

Good to see BUT a total cop-out by Kiwirail when a freight standard only spur can be built out to Clandboyne and CB hopper wagons used with commodities railed out.

The two major bridges on the Ohai line (Oreti and Aparima) did receive some strengthening work as well...Just to mention.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Wink  If only the local farming community would allow the building of a branch to Clandboyne

 
alexjc Deputy Commissioner

Wink  If only the local farming community would allow the building of a branch to Clandboyne

- wanderer53

I was under the impression that the spur would run along the road reserve?

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Wink If only the local farming community would allow the building of a branch to Clandboyne

- wanderer53

I was under the impression that the spur would run along the road reserve?

- alexjc



I have no idea of the exact route Alex but I have seen mention of oppostion by the farming communtity elsewhere.

Under normal circumstances the railway would not be allowed to run within the road reserve as these are required by law to be a certain clear width, unless it was built as a tramway.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Motorists on the Rimutaka Hill Rd will encounter fewer logging trucks from now on, but Masterton residents still face a long wait before trucks are diverted around the town.

Wellington port company CentrePort has announced 80,000 tonnes of logs from the region's forests will be transported each year by rail, starting this week.

Most of the logs will come from Forest Enterprises forests in Te Wharau, Ngahape and, if capacity allows, Te Mai.

General manager of forestry Bert Hughes said the cost of road freight was a big factor in the company making the commitment to rail.

"We think that rail is a little bit friendlier for burning fossil fuels. The cost of fuel is not huge at the moment, but you never know what's going to happen in the future."

Mr Hughes said 80,000 tonnes of logs was about 20 per cent of the total logged in the region each year, and would mean 12 to 14 fewer truck movements a day.

The region has about 68,500ha of commercial forest, of which Forest Enterprises owns about 14 per cent.

The log rail service has been 10 years in the making, with CentrePort, which is majority owned by Greater Wellington, and KiwiRail agreeing that rail wagons will be loaded at KiwiRail's Waingawa railhead, south of Masterton, and delivered to the port each weekday.

Greater Wellington Regional Council chairwoman Fran Wilde said the initiative would help with commuter traffic over the hill.

"Regular users in both directions will benefit from this new service, which is part of a wider strategy designed to

accommodate a log export trade that has nearly tripled over the past three years," she said.

But there would be little impact on logging traffic through Masterton, and a bypass was still "some time out", Ms Wilde said.

"I agree with the concerns, they are valid concerns but it will be a long time before it happens. The bypass is very much at the assessment stage, not even at the design stage."

A Masterton Eastern Bypass was included in Greater Wellington's long-term 2010 Regional Land Transport Strategy, but is not in the council's draft work programme for the next three years.

Masterton Mayor Garry Daniell said recent meetings with NZTA indicated the bypass was a low funding priority.

"We've made representations to them over a number of years that it could take the shape of a bypass. They were due to find it in the next couple of years, but I haven't heard anything recently."

Mr Daniell said the volume of logging traffic was likely to increase as forests in the region reach maturity.

He said the new log rail service, if it lessened traffic over Rimutaka Hill, would certainly reduce frustration for drivers.

"If in fact it can be economically proven that it's viable to offload trucks on to railway wagons at Waingawa then it would be a great improvement."

Regional councillor Gary McPhee said the move was positive for Wairarapa, "and especially for for people who have been stuck behind large trucks on the hill".

Mr McPhee said Waingawa was the right spot for the service as there was room to grow there.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

KiwiRail to begin new log service to Wellington from Wairarapa

6 March 2012

KiwiRail will shortly begin hauling logs from Wairarapa to Wellington by rail as part of a joint venture with lower North Island forestry exporters and CentrePort.

It is expected the new business will see around 80,000 tonnes of export logs moved each year from a transfer yard at Waingawa - that will mean 10 wagons a day, five days a week, added to the existing Masterton to Wellington freight service.

KiwiRail Freight’s National Manager Bulk and Forestry, Steve Muir, says KiwiRail had responded to the growth in log export volumes and bought specialised log carrying equipment which made the initiative possible.

“It is a venture that we have been looking at with exporters for some time and have conducted a number of trials over the years.  However the arrival of new wagons and log bolsters last year has enabled us to move ahead with this on a long term basis,” he says.  

CentrePort Chief Executive Blair O’Keeffe says that the Wairarapa is key cargo hinterland for CentrePort, and this development is a further boost for the region’s economy.

“This project has involved extensive discussions with key supply chain parties and local Wairarapa stakeholders, and it is pleasing to see the first service commissioned.

“Apart from boosting supply chain capacity and facilitating the better utilisation of assets across transport modes, the new rail service would help reduce road congestion. CentrePort’s log trade was a central pillar of the port's activity and the port continues to work on initiatives to meet the needs of the regions log exporters, including further use of rail.”

The business will start next week. KiwiRail owns the nine-hectare site at Waingawa which was already rail served.  Some minor work will be carried out to prepare the site and rail siding for the task ahead, Mr Muir says.

KiwiRail has ambitious plans to renew it fleet of wagons and locomotives Last year it took delivery of 500 new flat top wagons and 20 new locomotives.  It also purchased  100 sets of log bolsters which can be attached to the wagons for carrying logs.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jenni Austin, Senior Communications Advisor, 021 961 495

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Final stage to unlock increased capacity

on East Coast Main Trunk begins

Construction work has begun on one of three

train passing loops which will unlock further

train capacity business growth along the busy

East Coast Main Trunk between Hamilton

and Tauranga.

A 2.2 kilometre long passing loop being built at

Tamihana, at the junction of the Kinleith branch,

is the second in a series of three projects being

managed by Infrastructure’s Project Management

Office to extend an existing passing loop and

build two additional ones.

Once that work is finished later this year,

carrying capacity will double from two to four

trains an hour on a line that carries almost 40

percent of the traffic moving to and from the

Port of Tauranga.

But even before an inevitable increase in customer

demand creates a need for additional services, the

loop will bring immediate benefits to current

rail operations says KiwiRail Freight’s National

Manager, Service Delivery, Soren Low.

“This loop is at the exact halfway point between

Hamilton and Tauranga - it will give us immediate

operational benefits in terms of reduced transit

times, further reliability and flexibility with the existing train programme and the ability to run

longer trains,” he says.

At present there is a 20-kilometre stretch between

passing loops through this area, which means

one train could be waiting in a loop for extended

periods for the opposing train to pass.

PMO Project Manager Daniel Beesley expects

the Tamihana loop will be completed by spring,

along with the second new loop currently under

construction at Eureka near Hamilton.

Meanwhile on the other side of the Kaimai tunnel,

an extension to the existing Apata loop from 650

to 1100 metres will also be completed by spring.

Extensions to the crossing loops at Motomohoe

and Ruakura were completed last year. Initially a standard 900-metre loop had been

planned for Tamihana, but Dan Beesley said

that the business was able to demonstrate that

there was considerable benefits to be gained

from extending it to include the junction

with the Kinleith branch.

The works have been funded by the $13

million Joint Officials Group (JOG) funding

allocated to the region by the Government

in 2006.

Earlier this year the Metroport train

programme was boosted to six return services a day, seven days a week in response

to customer demand. That programme can

carry 8900 TEU a week.

“It is inevitable that in the future, growing

demand will require further step changes

in this programme, and together with our

fleet expansion, this infrastructure upgrade

will enable us to meet that demand,” says

Soren Low.

JOG funding has also been used to upgrade

level crossings in the Waikato region and to

reduce trespass at known “hot spots” around

the region.  Regional Transport Committee Chairman

and Waikato Regional Councillor Norm

Barker said the central Government funding

was an investment in the Waikato’s economy.

“The work approved for the Tamihana

passing loop will improve the carrying

capacity of the ECMT rail line which runs

between Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, in

particular to the Port of Tauranga. Once this

final stage of works has been completed, we

will also see improved safety around problem

areas on the rail corridors.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

South Waikato network improvements also underway

JOG funding of $235,000 has also been

confirmed to upgrade the facilities at the

Wawa Road public rail siding near Kinleith

to enable growth in containerised freight

from the south Waikato.

The improvements will include extending

the siding to cater for 12 wagons (up to

24 containers) and laying down paving for

heavy vehicles up to 30 tonnes, fencing

and signage. Initiatives to improve existing rail facilities

at Putaruru, Tokoroa and Te Kuiti had been

investigated by Waikato Regional Council

and KiwiRail.

However, as there was still uncertainty around

potential future business opportunities

in these towns it was decided to defer any

investment and prioritise investment in the

East Coast Main Trunk where there is existing

demand, says KiwiRail’s Infrastructure and Engineering Northern Regional Manager,

Stephen Collett.

“Wider improvements across our business

in the past 12 months, particularly the

expansion of our rolling stock fleet, give us the

ability to service new business in these areas

with existing infrastructure,” he said. “We

will continue to keep in touch with existing

and potential customers in those areas, and if

business demand is strong enough we would

look at infrastructure investment then.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

New Zealand: Kiwi-Rail’s freight volumes continue to grow 12. March 2012  

KiwiRail, a New Zealand-based rail service provider, reported that revenue in its core business, rail freight, grew by 11% to over USD 220 million contributing to an overall business revenue increase of over 5% for the half year 2011. The stand-out performer for freight was the import/export (IMEX) division, which recorded an increase in volume of 16% and a revenue increase of over 12% to over USD 61 million. (ben)

http://www.kiwirail.co.nz

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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David Hallett

RAPID GROWTH: The first stage of Fonterra's investment in its Darfield plant will be complete by mid-August.

 

 

Dairy giant Fonterra is pouring $500 million into developing a Canterbury milk-powder site carrying the world's biggest dryer in the largest investment in New Zealand dairying history.

The farmer-owned co-operative confirmed yesterday it would go ahead with stage two of its project at Darfield, worth about $300m, including a 30-tonne-an-hour milk-spray drying tower, extra warehouse space and a railway connection.

Processing from the D2 plant is set to begin next year.

The first stage (D1) involves a $200m, 15-tonne-an-hour dryer and facilities being completed for a mid-August start on the 650-hectare site, 3.5 kilometres from Darfield.

When commissioned, the complex is expected to generate $780m of milk-powder revenue a year and provide jobs for 160 to 170 staff, including tanker drivers.

Fonterra's New Zealand operations director, Brent Taylor, said the co-operative was making a "massive" investment in Canterbury. The site would be in full production by August next year.

"Between stage one and two we are investing half a billion dollars in the Canterbury region. This is the single biggest investment in the life of the industry."

The bigger dryer would be the largest in the world, he said.

Federated Farmers dairy president Willy Leferink said the new site would help Canterbury pay its bills.

"Half a billion dollars will be rolled out to the economy and that's a hell of a lot of money. In time, I would say that will be a couple of billion dollars a year in the economy," he said.

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said the investment demonstrated how far the dairy industry had evolved in Canterbury.

"As we rebuild Christchurch and go through our urban recovery, it's important we accelerate regional growth as fast as we can," he said.

Darfield businesses have seen trade pick up from construction teams working at the site.

Residents were in two minds about the development, said a businessman unwilling to be named.

"Things have got extremely busy in the main street and there are a lot of extra truck movements. It will change the face of Darfield forever," he said.

Fonterra gained consent for the second stage in January without appeal.

Darfield's second dryer will shade the $215m "ED4" at Fonterra's site in Edendale, Southland, which averages 28 tonnes an hour and reaches up to 29 tonnes an hour.

The Darfield site is initially expected to process about 6.6 million litres of milk a day, rising to 7 million litres, for 225,000 tonnes of milk powder a year. A tonne of milk powder is trading for about $3500 on Fonterra's online global auction.

South Island farmers supply 32 million litres of milk of the 82 million litres produced nationally, with the central South Island contributing 18 per cent.

Milk flows are increasing 4 to 6 per cent a year in Canterbury and are likely to be more this season after favourable growing conditions.

Milk for the Darfield plant will be collected from 30km around the site for D1 and 60km for D2, bypassing four-hour round trips to the Clandeboye site, north of Timaru, and reducing transportation costs.

Taylor said most of the whole milk powder would be destined for Asian markets, especially China, with some heading to growth nations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Further warehouse space will be added in stage two to store 25 per cent of both dryers' annual production, and a railway siding, allowing most of the milk to go to Lyttelton via rail, with some travelling to the Dunedin and Timaru ports.

Taylor said most of the site's jobs were expected to be filled by people living in Darfield, with some from other rural towns.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Business growth following line and bridge programme

Trains hauling heavier loads are now

operating on the Hokitika Branch, following

the successful completion of an 18-month

project to strengthen or replace 12 bridges

along the line and upgrade the line to carry

heavier weights.

Westland Milk products are now loading the

LXM milk tankers up to the maximum of

21,000 litres, an increase of 3000 litres per

tank, for the journey across the Southern

Alps from Canterbury to its Hokitika

dairy factory.

Key Account Executive Nicole Woodgate

says the upgrade has delivered an increased

axle loading, up from 14 to 18 tonnes, along

the branch line.

This means the tanks are being hauled on

heavy-rated IA wagons - which has boosted

the volumes that rail can carry back off the

coast as well, she says.

“We have only just started carrying these

extra volumes, so it is early days yet, but in

time there will be an associated increase in

volumes of containerised finished product –milk power and butter – being hauled back

across to the dairy company’s dry storage

warehousing facility at Rolleston,” she says.

Westland Dairy collects milk from

Canterbury farmers to carry across to its

Hokitika plant. It has built a reverse osmosis

plant at Rolleston which removes water

from raw milk, before it is shipped across

to the West Coast. At present 10 tanks are

being moved, seven days a week, but the

company is forecasting for further growith,

Nicole says. The Christchurch operations team is

already looking at ways to manage increased

volumes for the third rail-leg of the journey,

carrying the export product from Rolleston

to the Port at Lytteleton.

Altogether six bridges along the Hoitika

branch have been replaced, and six

strengthened to deliver the increased axle

loading. Work is continuing on the final

bridge across the Taramakau River.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Mainfreight’s latest depot

seventh on rail corridor

As site works on Mainfreight’s latest rail-related

development begins in Invercargill, KiwiRail

Property and Commercial Manager Neil

Buchanan says the freight forwarder has plans for

three more new developments and the expansion

of an existing site to add to its six current depots.

“If all these plans come to fruition, Mainfreight

would have a presence at most major centres

along the North Island Main Trunk, Main North

and Main South Lines,” he said.

The company currently has depots or freight

centres at Westfield and Penrose in Auckland,

Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch

and Dunedin.

Neil Buchanan says the land in Palmerston North

has been released to the building contractor so

that construction there can start on a new larger

facility to replace their existing depot. “One of the most interesting developments is in

Christchurch. Mainfreight have an existing depot

and a Daily Freight depot at Sockburn that will

take about eight wagons.

“They’ve lodged plans with the Christchurch

City Council for a new depot and an increase in

rail siding capacity at the Daily Freight depot and

the new Mainfreight Depot that will enable them

to load and unload 24 wagons simultaneously at

the two adjoining sites.

“That would make it one of the biggest rail freight

centres in the country. It is a good indicator of

what value Mainfreight considers rail can add to

their business.

“While the Christchurch development is not on

our land, it is rail-connected and they are looking

to lease some KiwiRail land to add to what they

already own.

“The bottom line is that the process of getting

our customers better connected to our business

as a result of them operating on or near the rail

corridor, is continuing to gather momentum.”

Neil Buchanan says the new Mainfreight depot

in Invercargill will take three wagons at a time.

It’s being built by southern contracting firm

Calder & Stewart and is expected to be finished

before the end of the year.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

A powerful new upper North Island local government alliance will commission a study which could be a blueprint to end tooth-and-nail inter-port rivalry and trigger the long-awaited major expansion at Northland's port, Northport.

The Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (UNISA) - made up of all the regional and district councils in the area, along with big hitter Auckland City - has announced that it will commission an independent technical study into current and future freight demand for ports and ports-related infrastructure in their areas.

The alliance was formed about seven months ago to address a raft of issues of common concern, with economic development linkages; transport, including rail, roads and freight; and ports, including inland ports, at the top of the list.

The decision to commission the study was taken at the UNISA's second meeting a few days ago and could show the way for the whole country to end 24 years of inter-port competition, starting with an integrated approach to planning, involving Northland Port, Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga.

The competitive environment originated with the Port Companies Act 1988, which required the boards to form companies to take over their commercial port-related assets and be operated as "successful businesses".

Launching the concept this week co-incides with upheavals at the Ports of Auckland, which have seen further loss of trade to the booming Port of Tauranga. With both ports running out of space, and planning costly and environmentally questionable expansions, calls are being made to these ports to seriously consider making use of Northport's deep water and extensive land bank.

Bad weather prevented Northland Regional Council representatives from attending the meeting, but chair Craig Brown yesterday said the study was good progress towards getting the ports and regions to "start thinking outside their own patch".

"The truth is we need Auckland, and Auckland needs Northland and Waikato and so on. The idea is to move towards rationalising the movement of goods and stop councils going off and doing their own thing without consideration for anyone else's needs or capacities."

Looking at ports-related infrastructure necessarily involved looking at transport networks as a whole across the regions, he said.

Mayor of Tauranga Stuart Crosby said at the meeting that an efficient, safe and effective transport system was critical for the upper North Island to achieve sustained economic growth and enable New Zealand to compete internationally. UNISA would be working with the New Zealand Transport Agency on upper North Island transport issues.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said "a guiding principle must be reducing costs to business through transport and land use".

UNISA comprises of the mayors and chairs of Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Whangarei district councils, as well as the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Northland regional councils.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Further investment is to be made in the busy East Coast Main Trunk (ECMT) rail line betweenHamilton and Tauranga to ensure it can continue to meet increasing customer demand for additional rail freight services.

KiwiRail and the Waikato Regional Transport Committee have confirmed investment of an additional $500,000 in development of the Tamihana passing loop. It will be extended from its current length of 900 metres to 2.2 kilometres, providing invaluable flexibility and additional capacity for rail operations along the line, which has seen a sharp increase in services in the last month.

A passing loop allows opposing trains to pass each other on a single track railway line such as the ECMT - the more there are along a rail line the more trains can run along it.

The project is the final element in a series of improvements to rail infrastructure over the past five years to deliver additional capacity and improved reliability and safety in the Waikato region. The works have been funded by the $13 million Joint Officials Group (JOG) fund allocated to the region by Government in 2006.

The passing loop is at the halfway point between Tauranga and Hamilton and at the junction of the Kinleith branch. It is one of two new passing loops along the route. A further three have been extended to allow for longer trains as part of the JOG series of projects.



Once work on all the passing loops is completed later this year, the line’s capacity will double from two trains an hour (one in each direction) to four trains an hour (two in each direction).

KiwiRail last month increased the number of freight train services running between Auckland and Tauranga in response to customer demand, adding an additional 15 return services a week.

JOG funding of $235,000 has also been confirmed to upgrade the facilities at the Wawa Road public rail siding near Kinleith to enable growth in containerised freight from the south Waikato.

The improvements will include extending the siding to cater for 12 wagons (up to 24 containers) and laying down paving to for heavy vehicles up to 30 tonnes, fencing and signage.

Initiatives to improve existing rail facilities at Putaruru, Tokoroa and Te Kuiti had been investigated by Waikato Regional Council and KiwiRail. However, as there was still uncertainty around potential future business opportunities in these towns it was decided to defer any investment and prioritise investment in the East Coast Main Trunk where there is existing demand, says KiwiRail’s Infrastructure and Engineering Northern Regional Manager, Stephen Collett.

“Wider improvements across our business in the past 12 months, particularly the expansion of our rolling stock fleet, give us the ability to service new business in these areas with existing infrastructure. We will continue to keep in touch with existing and potential customers in those areas, and if business demand is strong enough we would look at infrastructure investment then.”

JOG funding has also been used to upgrade level crossings in the Waikato region and to reduce trespass at known ‘hot spots’ around the region.

Regional transport committee chairman and Waikato regional councillor Norm Barker said the central government funding was an investment in the Waikato’s economy.

“The work approved for the Tamihana passing loop will improve the carrying capacity of the ECMT rail line which runs between Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, in particular to the Port of Tauranga. Once this final stage of works has been completed, we will also see improved safety around problem areas on the rail corridors.

“The investigations undertaken jointly by Waikato Regional Council and KiwiRail involved extensive consultation with the Huttloc Drive industrial area businesses and helped to prioritise the final allocation of funding for South Waikato,” Cr Barker said.

Meanwhile, South Waikato District Council Mayor Neil Sinclair welcomed the $235,000 investment in the Kinleith rail terminal. “There has been considerable investment in Tokoroa and Putaruru along State Highway 1 over the last year or two and the upgrade of these rail terminal facilities will further contribute to economic development for the district,” he said.

 

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

More work for Kiwirail?

 

 

Fonterra is considering building a new plant in the south to cope with booming milk supply.

Fonterra lower South Island operations manager Keith Mason said greater production capacity would be needed but Fonterra was waiting for the plant in Darfield to be built before making any decisions.

If growth continued, building somewhere in the lower South Island could begin in 2017-18, he said.

"But we'll monitor performance over the next couple of years."

The Edendale plant had processed 7.3 per cent more milk than this time last season, he said.

"It's quite astonishing considering the impact the dry spell had."

Even though milk production had been lower this summer because of the dry weather, milk production in spring had been much higher than in spring 2010 because of the snowstorm, he said.

Fonterra plant manager Murray Dalley said the largest dryer at Edendale, ED4, was a week away from completing the longest Fonterra milk powder production run ever, producing continuous powder from March 8 until April 3.

"We're flying at the moment."

Another record was broken this season, when the Edendale plant processed 15.3 million litres of milk on November 4, the first time the plant had ever reached full capacity, he said.

"We were full noise with no issues," Mr Dalley said.

It was unlikely another dryer would be built at Edendale to cope with demand but alternative sites to build a new plant were being considered across Southland and Otago, he said. "Wherever the biggest potential growth is ... [but] at the moment we're looking how we can optimise what we've got."

ED4 processed 4.4 million litres of milk a day, averaging about 680 tonne of milk powder a day. It required eight full milk tankers every hour, 24 hours a day, just to keep the continuous production run going.

 
alexjc Deputy Commissioner

Smile If we are looking at a rail served facility in the Otago-Southland region, you're pretty much looking at the SIMT and Wairio branch. Then we start to look at what area is showing future growth potential.

I'm no Fonterra expert but rail wise all I can see is western and northern Southland... Otago, which has no facility seems to be where a plant will go either located in Oamaru or even Milton?

Locating a new facility at Otautau on the Wairio line would require a further upgrade of track conditions.  Then again Fonterra may just build another dryer at Edendale after all.  Open Country has a foothold with a small facility at Awarua but it is not rail connected although containers are trucked to the Clifton container terminal which is rail served.

I remember Lumsden and Balfour once being mooted as a future dairy factory locations. This is newish dairy country now but I doubt the Waimea branch would be relaid just of it alone.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Smile If we are looking at a rail served facility in the Otago-Southland region, you're pretty much looking at the SIMT and Wairio branch. Then we start to look at what area is showing future growth potential. I'm no Fonterra expert but rail wise all I can see is western and northern Southland... Otago, which has no facility seems to be where a plant will go either located in Oamaru or even Milton? Locating a new facility at Otautau on the Wairio line would require a further upgrade of track conditions. Then again Fonterra may just build another dryer at Edendale after all. Open Country has a foothold with a small facility at Awarua but it is not rail connected although containers are trucked to the Clifton container terminal which is rail served. I remember Lumsden and Balfour once being mooted as a future dairy factory locations. This is newish dairy country now but I doubt the Waimea branch would be relaid just of it alone.

- alexjc




I expect that it will be expansion of an existing plant, but who knows if they have an area remote from existing plants producing enough milk to justify this then we may see a new plant.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Freight forwarder interest creates performance pressure

KiwiRail’s strategy to grow its share of the

domestic freight business is starting to attract

interest in all the right places, but that’s

resulting in even more pressure to ensure

premier trains are consistently reliable, warns

Freight General Manager Iain Hill.

Freight forwarding and even some courier

companies are taking a keen interest in rail

freight services – and performance, he says.

“The good news is that the intermodal

strategy appears to be paying off, with this

market starting to take a keen interest in us

and our services. Our new wagons, containers

and locomotives give us the capability to

offer services that can meet the exacting

requirements of the just-in-time market.

“However, while it is very exciting to have these

companies interested in using us, they bring a

level of focus on reliability and performance

that we have not experienced before.

“If we want them to choose to use us – and

they do have a choice – we need to deliver

a consistent performance that allows them

in turn to provide a good service to their

customers.

“That makes it critical for staff the length of

the country to be familiar with the schedules

and train numbers of our premier services so

we keep them to schedule throughout their

journey.”

Iain Hill says there has been considerable

work done to ensure we get these trains away

on time. The next steps are to ensure we keep

that same focus throughout their journey so

they arrive consistently on time.

“That is going to take team work the across

the length of the country and the breadth

of our business - and the first critical step is

ensuring we all know just what those priority

services are.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Busy March for Southdown CT site

The team at the Southdown CT site has

handled an average of 300 more containers a

day moving through the site during March

this year than they did in March last year.

And there will be no easing of the pressure

for the team at Southdown’s Metroport

operation this Easter weekend as they

continue to manage high volumes of

container traffic to and from the Port of

Tauranga.

Freight General Manager Aaron Temperton

says the team handled 29060 containers

- that is more than 900 a day - and made

56956 container lifts during March this year.

Last year they handled 19609 containers and

38678 lifts.

Volumes of inbound containers will remain

high over the coming week or two and he says activity is expected to be at its highest

level since industrial action began at the

Ports of Auckland.

Trucking firms are being urged to continue

to collect as many containers as possible

throughout the weekend in order to

minimise any further congestion at the site.

“It is critical that we keep up the pace to stay

on top of the enormous work load if we are

to minimise delays to customers,” he says

“Therefore our intention is to continue to

operate at full capacity throughout the fourday

Easter holiday weekend.”

Aaron Temperton says the team has pulled

together and shouldered an enormous

workload during the previous six months. “The team have been working under

significant pressure for the past six months

due to the Ports Of Auckland industrial

action, amended ship rotations, Christmas

Block of Lines and the like and have done a

superb job of managing the workload.

“The team as a whole have responded

tremendously and through their endeavours

have further reinforced KiwiRail’s

capabilities in responding at short notice

to exceptional demands - all of which holds

us in good stead in developing longer term

opportunities.” he added.

“While it will take some time to clear the

volumes we do expect the ‘exceptional’

elements of the situation to ease somewhat

over the next few weeks as the Port returns

to full operations.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Heinz Wattie’s and more beetroot expand rail traffic

An increase in the capacity of Heinz Wattie’s

Hastings warehouse and the introduction of

a second rail siding will enable import-export

cargo railed from the plant to increase by as

much as 40 percent.

The increase in capacity is the result of Heinz

Wattie’s relocating operations from Australia

to the Hawkes Bay. The complex is now one

of the largest stand-alone warehouses in New

Zealand, covering about five hectares.

Heinz Wattie’s Logistics Manager Eric

Raulet says a significant proportion of the

raw materials required for the additional

production volume would be grown

in Hawkes Bay and a further 50,000

tonnes of product would be railed to the

Port of Napier.

Using rail helped reduce road traffic and

congestion at the Port of Napier as well as

reducing Heinz Wattie’s carbon footprint,

Eric Raulet says.

“This is short-haul to the Port of Napier

and we primarily use UDA/UDK wagons

that would otherwise not have much use,” says KiwiRail Hawkes Bay Freight Manager

Kim Santer.

“The plan is to increase the length of the

rakes and accommodate the increase on

existing mainline shunts.”

Part of the reason for the increase in cargo

is Heinz Wattie’s largest ever beetroot crop.

Forecast at 11,500 tonne by season end, it

will be four times the size of previous years.

The beetroot line at Hastings has been

upgraded at a cost $5 million to cater for the

increased volume. This spend has increased capacity and streamlined the way in which

the crop is managed at the factory.

Agriculture Manager Ivan Angland says

this is the largest beetroot crop grown in

the history of Wattie’s, and next year it is

scheduled to double again.

“The big step up in the beetroot crop is

due to the relocation of production from

Australia to take advantage of the overall

scale of our Hastings production site.

The large additional volume is for the

Australian market.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Upgrade for Timaru CT site serving ‘giant food-basket’

A major upgrade means Timaru’s busy CT site

now presents a much slicker image and is well

equipped to accommodate future business

growth in the south Canterbury region.

Earthworks and sealing have improved the

ground conditions, neighbouring land has

been leased from the local port to store

containers and the site now boasts two

late model fork lifts, having just acquired

an additional 48-tonner from Palmerston

North plus an additional 15 ton machine for

handling 10 ft containers and steel.

And as the final piece in the upgrade, a

vacant building is to be refurbished as a new

gate house for Manager Tony Oldman and

his team, who currently share space in the

local Toll Tranz Link office.

“We now look much more professional

and with the new equipment and facilities

are better able to manage the considerable

volumes that come through this site,” he

says.

South Canterbury area is a giant food basket

and as the regional economy grows, rail is

getting busier and likely to assume more and

more importance, he says. “We have a great team here at Timaru, and

it is great for us to be able to support them

by investing in the right equipment and

facilities around them.”

The CT site is staffed by two full-time and

one part-time CT operators and two office

staff. The wider team includes 13 yard staff

in Timaru and two in Oamaru and four LEs.

Last year they moved around 30,000 TEU

through the CT yard in Timaru - on average

a container lift every two minutes over a 9

hour day.

Around two thirds of those volumes come

from the nearby Clandeboye dairy factory,

however other business including seafood,

fresh and frozen vegetables, chilled meat

products, and grain keep the team busy

throughout the year. On top of that the

Timaru team also play their part in moving

bulk milk during the dairy season.

Add a further 35,000 TEU currently

entering the network via Temuka (18km

from Timaru) and likewise on a growth path

and you get a feel for just how significant our

South Canterbury activities are, says Tony. “There used to be a time when we had a

‘quiet’ season once the milk trains stopped,

but that is not nearly as pronounced

anymore.”

The site also manages a considerable number

of ship diversions throughout the year which

has led to a close working relationship with

PrimePort.

Timaru is also currently playing host to

I&E’s ballast cleaner and crew. “We certainly

know they are here and have had to work

around them, but we are loving the results,”

he says. “They know their stuff and take a

great deal of pride in how they do their jobs.”

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

CentrePort is maligned by some as a blot on Wellington's landscape, occupying prime waterfront land and sucking the life out of the central city.

But behind the wall of logs beats a heart that pumps nearly $2 billion a year through the region's economy. What actually goes on at the country's third largest port is a mystery to most.

A constant stream of trucks and trains delivers cargo from the region's exporters.

Gangly straddle carriers scurry around shuffling containers to feed huge cranes that load the ships, Cook Strait ferries come and go like the tide and, inside specialist warehouses, goods are processed.

And the last cruise ship of another record season called earlier this month.

CentrePort boss Blair O'Keeffe says Wellington has the best natural harbour in the country, with huge potential.

"It is deep, it's wide, it's sheltered, not withstanding that we get a bit of wind in Wellington. [And] it doesn't need maintenance dredging."

The main port covers 46 hectares, extending from the undeveloped Kaiwharawhara land reclamation north of the Interislander ferry terminal around to Waterloo Wharf, opposite New Zealand Post's head office.

Across the other side of the harbour, CentrePort's 23ha Seaview site houses one of the largest oil import hubs in the country, as well as the overflow for logs.

Other wharves along the waterfront, including Queens Wharf, are rented from Wellington Waterfront Development as required.

Port detractors point to the vast area of prime waterfront land the port occupies that could be better put to public use.

The latest proposal is for a 12,000-seat concert venue on land used to store logs.

This goes to the heart of the lack of understanding of how a port functions, O'Keeffe says.

"A lot of people look at our business and just see land and they don't see the economic role necessary for the business.

"Because, over time, the size of the land attached to the business has compressed, I think some people think that the port itself has shrunk in terms of its relevance, but it is quite the opposite.

"We are doing more than ever before on a small piece of land through technology and changes in the way things work."

Just 10 per cent of a port's land consists of wharves; the rest is used to store and marshal cargo. The port uses this land to "breathe", O'Keeffe says.

The port should be seen as an "economic muscle rather than a land mass".

Port turnover has grown more than 40 per cent in the last four years to $71 million and underlying profit is up 43 per cent to nearly $15m over that time.

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Last year, a dividend of $4m flowed back to ratepayers via the port's two owners, the Greater Wellington regional council and Horizons Regional Council.

BEFORE taking up the helm at CentrePort three years ago, O'Keeffe spent 16 years with BP in a variety of senior roles around the world.

The 41-year-old joined the energy conglomerate as a graduate and left as vice-president of marketing for North America Gas and Power.

In between, he built the AA Rewards loyalty programme in which BP is a key partner, sold BP's LPG and commercial gas company in New Zealand, and was involved in the takeover of oil company Castrol.

At 32 he was sent to Europe to head Castrol Commercial in Britain and Ireland.

"That was a fundamental experience for me, being a young leader of a fairly mature business in a different country."

A stint on the European leadership team for Castrol followed, overseeing a portfolio of 42 countries and a brief to find US$100m (NZ$122m) in benefits for the company through better pricing and cost-cutting within a year.

Family, and a desire to apply his skills in a different, albeit smaller organisation, drew O'Keeffe and his wife, Kate, home from his final United States posting.

"One of the things that I have discovered through my career is that the scale of the numbers doesn't matter that much. It is actually about what you are doing and the business itself.

"This is the best job I have ever had. There is just so much going on at any given point in time with it. We are literally plugged into nearly every part of the economy in one form or another."

The last year has been one of records for the key trading parts of the port, including the number of containers moved, logs exported and cruise ship visits.

About 100,000 containers crossed the wharf last year, accounting for about a third of the port's revenue.

The container terminal is one of the most productive in Australasia, something O'Keeffe puts down to the use of technology and a flexible workforce.

Container terminal staff are employed by CentrePort on a guaranteed number of hours. A callup system means staff work when work is there to be done. "That is a vital part of running a successful port," O'Keeffe says.

Casual labour pools can be called on to cope with peak demand. Labour for all non-containerised cargo is contracted out to third parties.

Ship diversions during the Ports of Auckland industrial dispute proved that the port could handle the equivalent of 260,000 containers a year using existing facilities, he says.

With more master planning and adding new technology, the container terminal could handle up to 400,000 containers a year.

That capacity to grow may be needed if the use of irrigation is expanded in the Wairarapa and the Manawatu to convert more land to dairying, and a strategy to develop a national distribution hub at the port succeeds.

The log trade is experiencing a "bit of a perfect storm" due to huge demand from China and plenty of supply from lower North Island forestry firms, he says.

Log volumes have grown threefold in recent years to 600,000 tonnes a year and are expected to "keep chunking up".

Last month, the first logging train arrived from the Wairarapa, after years of planning. Eventually about a fifth of all logs will be delivered by rail.

It is hoped to develop a similar service from the Manawatu.

By far the most spectacular success story of the last five years has been the five-fold growth in visits by cruise ships.

About 180,000 passengers and crew passed through the port this season, spending $30m. That could be boosted by up to another 20,000 people next year, with 91 cruise ship visits already confirmed, O'Keeffe says.

The public perception is one of valuable cruise tourists being forced to disembark on a wind-swept wharf surrounded by logs, cars and containers, rather than at one of the inner-city wharves.

But O'Keeffe says there is not enough room to manoeuvre the big ships safely in strong wind close to the city, and at an average length of 250 metres, they are too long even for the Overseas Passenger Terminal wharf.

"By next year we will have over 20 per cent of the cruise ships calling being over 300 metres long, and the next generation is going to be 340 metres long. They are floating cities, basically."

SIMILARLY, both inter-island ferry operators will eventually move to Kaiwharawhara, where much-needed space can be developed to cater for the growing Cook Strait freight demand and bigger ferries.

O'Keeffe wants to take advantage of Wellington's strategic position in the centre of the country to develop a domestic distribution hub, competing with Auckland and Christchurch.

"When you look at the international and domestic demands, the freight task in New Zealand is expected to double over the next 20 years," he says.

"Wherever anyone goes in New Zealand, we are on the way. So I think we are really well situated to have a highly relevant role in both the domestic and international supply-chain solutions for the future.

"We are in the middle of the country. We are probably one of the most blessed ports in the country in terms of intermodal access. We have got the national rail, the national road system that docks across the road or on our property."

In 2006, CentrePort also became a commercial property developer, with the 6ha Harbour Quays project fronting Waterloo Quay.

The project features three top-grade office buildings leased to the Bank of New Zealand, Customs and Statistics New Zealand. ACC has bought a 50 per cent stake in those buildings.

The NZ Rugby Union and TelstraClear have also taken up residence in refurbished buildings.

The development is expected to take 20 years to complete, at a total cost of about $500m, with the area's population growing from about 3500 now to about 6000.

But rival property developers and retailers say the development will draw the life out of the city centre.

"Our view is that we are meeting the needs of the market," O'Keeffe says. "Fundamentally, people want large, new, close-to-the-waterfront offices where they can consolidate into one location."

He sees the precinct as an extension to the city's waterfront by adding back public spaces.

A new master plan for the port, looking out 50 years and including land and infrastructure development requirements, is due to be completed later this year.

 

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