KiwiRail to end electric freight haulage

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 22 Dec 2016 11:18
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Not sure I believe the reasons.  Why not consider extending the electrification which would be better for the environment?

The price of building electrification would amount approximately $200m as a once off capital price.  This would also remove further diesel locomotives from the network.

KiwiRail to end electric freight haulage

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Electric haulage for freight is had to make viable unless you have high volumes. QR and PN cannot make it pay on the 700km section from Brisbane to Rockhampton and QR previously abandoned Rocky to Emerald general freight and grain, even though most of the route is funded by coal trains and there was a surplus of sparks.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Not sure I believe the reasons.  Why not consider extending the electrification which would be better for the environment?

The price of building electrification would amount approximately $200m as a once off capital price.  This would also remove further diesel locomotives from the network.

KiwiRail to end electric freight haulage
bevans
I note that the press release indicates $NZ 1 billion for extending the electrification, what particular details do you know that would reduce the cost by a factor of five?

It was a "nationalised railway" decision to electrify only between Palmerston North and Hamilton.

Current practices don't encourage changing locomotives twice between Auckland and Wellington.

It is about 50km from Papakura to Hamilton which would connect to the Auckland electrification. It is about the same 50km distance from Palmerston North to Paekakariki but the Wellington electrification is 1500v DC, so dual voltage locomotives would be needed.

Although there might have been clearance problems, some of the Aurizon locomotives scrapped recently would have been suitable for NZ, and would probably have been better than the EFs which were never much of a bargain. I'm surprised that they kept the EFs going for so long. Back in 2001, most of the through passenger trains were diesel all the way.

M636C
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
$1b price tag is simply ridiculous.  The network itself was placed into service in the 1980's.  

By your own post the distance required would be around 100kms so I am being very generous at $2.5m per km for overhead.  That is expensive even by Australian standards of price gouging.

The Europeans have been running dual voltage locomotives for years.

This decision has not been popular but is draft decision and may change. This does not do a lot for the green image of New Zealand as NZ imports all of its oil but has an abundance of green electricity.

No reflection on your post or your self but I would take comments about the efficiency and green tripple bottom line approach to the management of QR's network with a grain of salt.  Too much politics to ever know if you are being told the true out of that group.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

$1b price tag is simply ridiculous.  The network itself was placed into service in the 1980's.  

By your own post the distance required would be around 100kms so I am being very generous at $2.5m per km for overhead.  That is expensive even by Australian standards of price gouging.

The Europeans have been running dual voltage locomotives for years.
bevans
But how much would a new fleet of dual-voltage locos cost? There's no point in extending the AC overhead towards Wellington without new locos. I think it's a reasonable decision from an economic perspective, especially considering a report from a NZ local that many trains run between Palmerston North and Te Rapa behind a diesel anyway, avoiding the need tor loco changes.
  MetroFemme Chief Train Controller

Very ordinary decision from a country who tells everyone else how green they are.

Cost of locos over 20 or 25 years are not should not be as great as the running and matenance costs of polluting diesel locos because they are electric.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Very ordinary decision from a country who tells everyone else how green they are.

Cost of locos over 20 or 25 years are not should not be as great as the running and matenance costs of polluting diesel locos because they are electric.
MetroFemme
I'm sure there is more too it as if electric traction was so cheap, why don't other do it? The only electric traction in Australia now is coal in CQ. Even the Hunter would appear non viable. QR had its own spark locos, but choose to walk away from electric traction general freight and use aging diesels instead.

Additionally 1500VDC is not the best for heavy freights and just because the OH is there at both ends doesn't mean its suitable. The power supplys and other bits and pieces needs to be upgraded.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Additionally 1500VDC is not the best for heavy freights and just because the OH is there at both ends doesn't mean its suitable. The power supplys and other bits and pieces needs to be upgraded.
RTT_Rules
Agree. 1500 V DC is at the Wellington end. Both the centre section (to be mothballed) and the Auckland end are 25 kV 50 Hz AC. Even if dual-voltage locos were purchased I think there would be a sizable upgrade needed in the Wellington area in order for heavy freight trains to be operated. Don't know about AKL, but I can't imagine it would have been built with sufficient capacity for freight trains, so would expect a supply upgrade to be required there.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Additionally 1500VDC is not the best for heavy freights and just because the OH is there at both ends doesn't mean its suitable. The power supplys and other bits and pieces needs to be upgraded.
Agree. 1500 V DC is at the Wellington end. Both the centre section (to be mothballed) and the Auckland end are 25 kV 50 Hz AC. Even if dual-voltage locos were purchased I think there would be a sizable upgrade needed in the Wellington area in order for heavy freight trains to be operated. Don't know about AKL, but I can't imagine it would have been built with sufficient capacity for freight trains, so would expect a supply upgrade to be required there.
duttonbay

I wonder if an Australian is now running KiwiRail planning?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Additionally 1500VDC is not the best for heavy freights and just because the OH is there at both ends doesn't mean its suitable. The power supplys and other bits and pieces needs to be upgraded.
Agree. 1500 V DC is at the Wellington end. Both the centre section (to be mothballed) and the Auckland end are 25 kV 50 Hz AC. Even if dual-voltage locos were purchased I think there would be a sizable upgrade needed in the Wellington area in order for heavy freight trains to be operated. Don't know about AKL, but I can't imagine it would have been built with sufficient capacity for freight trains, so would expect a supply upgrade to be required there.

I wonder if an Australian is now running KiwiRail planning?
bevans
Look around the world, are they doing anything unusual, no. EU runs electric freight, but look at the traffic density for both passenger and freight compared to Kiwi land and Australia.

How many freight trains a day where using the O/H in NZ? There are 12-14 return freights a day under the wires in Qld and it still didn't add up. Even the wood chip train which was 100% under the wires was 100% diesel when I moved to Gladstone in early 1998.

The Vic govt cannot even justify building wires to Geelong and yes I'm sure the accountants in the govt are aware of 20-25 year economics of running diesel vs electric.

We all know electric traction economics doesn't make sense unless you have the traffic density, lets not pick on the kiwis for doing what makes economic sense.
  RadarJunkie Station Staff

There would not be 14 return freights per day on most lines in Europe under the wires.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

There would not be 14 return freights per day on most lines in Europe under the wires.
RadarJunkie
But how many passenger trains?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The electrification progress in not only Europe but over half of UK lines is already underway therefore passenger and freight use electrification.  I still believe we are missing the point electrification in NZ is GRFEEN zero emissions.  In Germany the entire rail network is powered by Nuclear generation. 100% green.

UK most of the power is GREEN with Nuclear.

Australia has plenty of access to GREEN power for electrification.  

Melbourne to Ballarat has probably close to the same number of daily services each way as would an equivalent route in  Europe. Why is Ballarat not electrified?  Because the government has a poor approach to rail development and deployment, runs projects which are overpriced and does not care about emissions.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

The electrification progress in not only Europe but over half of UK lines is already underway therefore passenger and freight use electrification.
bevans
You can't compare UK with NZ or Australia. UK has the traffic for it, and don't forget they are going to get tram-trains in Manchester & Sheffield

I still believe we are missing the point electrification in NZ is GRFEEN zero emissions.
bevans
IS it REEEALLY? Let's see, road trucks, and trains powered by diesel, etc supplying the overhead poles. Wiring trains powered by diesel, etc.

By the way, what is GRFEEN? (Laughing) (I know, it was accidental.)

In Germany the entire rail network is powered by Nuclear generation. 100% green.
bevans
WHAT?? But aren't the lefties & the Labor supporters against nuclear power
(PS: The greenies (especially) should remember that nuclear medicine is used for kids & teenagers)

Why is Ballarat not electrified? Because the government has a poor approach to rail development and deployment, runs projects which are overpriced and does not care about emissions.
bevans
It would require two broad gauge interurban fleets, one electric, one diesel, not to mention the "intercity" services on the standard gauge between Melbourne & Albury.

My quotes make the posts shorter & easier to read
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

In Germany the entire rail network is powered by Nuclear generation. 100% green.
bevans
I didn't know that. I always assumed those railcars I travelled on, those on the lines without any overhead wires, were diesel.   Smile
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
bevans

[CITATIONS NEEDED]
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

[CITATIONS NEEDED]

speedemon08

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traction_powerstation#Germany and specifically

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neckarwestheim_Nuclear_Power_Plant GKN1
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out

[CITATIONS NEEDED]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traction_powerstation#Germany and specifically

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neckarwestheim_Nuclear_Power_Plant GKN1
bevans
As of 2005, Germany had a railway network of 41,315 km of which 19,857 km was [color=#0b0080][size=2][font=sans-serif]electrified[/font][/size][/color]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_in_Germany
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The Green tag is fine but when it gets down to a price if using sparks adds cost to Kiwi rails bottom line what is more important? Will their customers pay more and note some of the power in the wires is coal/gas generated.

The bulk of the spark freifhts in EU are under wires funded by high frequency passenger networks. Aa a guide single track lines do not justify the cost of electrification unless it's a branch line off the main.

In Germany may of the DMU s on short passenger lines only run to the junction station on the main.Germany also has many coal fired powered stations and most us brown coal.

UK also has extensive coal fired power supply.

While I agree Nuclear is clean and support Nuclear, I think you'll find the Greenies do not call Nu clear Green, quite the opposite and good luck getting one built in Oz and NZ.

As hindsight has shown us there were a number of ambious electrification projects from the 80's that have proven to be a failure based on predictions of soaring oil prices that didn't occur.

- NZ trunk line aND why it didn't run further in Auckland and Christchurch.
- Qld Mainline
- Qld central west beyond the coal lines
- NSW 85/86 class 60 Locos. If they has waited 5 years it would not have happened.

The Vic RFR project should have had some sections sparked but the growth they achieved was not forecast. For my mind Geelong should be sparked and Velocities Re allocated as growth requires and progressively replaced with sparks over 10 years,  NE line anyone?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

As hindsight has shown us there were a number of ambious electrification projects from the 80's that have proven to be a failure based on predictions of soaring oil prices that didn't occur.

- NZ trunk line aND why it didn't run further in Auckland and Christchurch.
RTT_Rules
There was no ambitious electrification project in either Auckland or Christchurch in the 1980s. The electrification project ran between Palmerston North and Te Rapa (Hamlton). Auckland electrification came much later (hence the 25vAC) while Christchurch-Lyttelton dates back to 1929, and was introduced because of the 2.7km long tunnel between them. Like the earlier electrification between Arthurs Pass and Otira (opened in the early 1920s) it was simply due to the long tunnel.

Given that Arthurs Pass-Otira and Christchurch-Lyttelton were only electrified because of the tunnels, I suspect that Wellington may have only come about when the main line north via Johnsonville was replaced by the lengthy tunnels out of Wellington. They both happened in the late 1930s.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The overall point I believe is being missed as it is not just about the coat in everything you guys consider it is also the coat to the environment.

Does NZ have an ETS ?
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Calling Bevans: Have you got ANOTHER source other than Wikipedia.

Also, using Rail Transport in Germany, just under half (48.06%) of the rail network is electric.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
As hindsight has shown us there were a number of ambious electrification projects from the 80's that have proven to be a failure based on predictions of soaring oil prices that didn't occur.

- NZ trunk line aND why it didn't run further in Auckland and Christchurch.
There was no ambitious electrification project in either Auckland or Christchurch in the 1980s. The electrification project ran between Palmerston North and Te Rapa (Hamlton). Auckland electrification came much later (hence the 25vAC) while Christchurch-Lyttelton dates back to 1929, and was introduced because of the 2.7km long tunnel between them. Like the earlier electrification between Arthurs Pass and Otira (opened in the early 1920s) it was simply due to the long tunnel.

Given that Arthurs Pass-Otira and Christchurch-Lyttelton were only electrified because of the tunnels, I suspect that Wellington may have only come about when the main line north via Johnsonville was replaced by the lengthy tunnels out of Wellington. They both happened in the late 1930s.
duttonbay
I was referring to the mid 80's NMIT electrification project, final cost over $250m in 1980's money which is significant for a country the size of NZ back then. The project was on the back of the Qld electrification project and the sparks purchased were I believe very similar to one of the Qld models.

Was this project ambitious? likely! Like Qld mainline which was undertaken at the same time as was the NSW 85/86 loco order they have all proven to be a commercial failure with excessive number of locos ordered and many locos retired with low number of operating hours. All three projects have a common trigger being the early 80's oil price shock. As demonstrated to many countries including EU, electrification on single mostly freight only lines is rarely economic.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The overall point I believe is being missed as it is not just about the coat in everything you guys consider it is also the coat to the environment.

Does NZ have an ETS ?
freightgate
NZ has an ETS, but for reasons I couldn't be bothered to look up they have pulled back from international to only domestic trading system. Google is NZ ETS a failure? Like many countries who jumped on this bandwagon with their eyes shut once a few realities kicked in, ie ETS = off shoring jobs to countries without an ETS and the carbon price once floated went to near $0 as a result, I suspect they have normal taken a more conservative approach.

The overall point is that Kiwirail while govt owned is a commercial entity and expected to deliver results to its shareholders, which is the people of New Zealand, so if they want to use a energy system that is more expensive then they either need to accept the railway's higher operating costs and hence more dependent on the tax payer or they accept the loss of freight from rail to road.

The NZ MNIT electrification project was funded like NSW 85/86 class and Qld mainline projects on the back of the early 80's oil price shock and like the two former projects within a few years all three found themselves with excess locos likely due to loss of work from rail to road, loss of industry, Limitations in the route covered by O/H and unwillingness to extend based on revised economics, forecasts that didn't eventuate, practicality of using diesel over sparks in some freight tasks and the big killer was dramatic reduction in new technology diesel operating costs, ie Gen 3 engines, later Gen 4 and AC traction. With time this only became more favorable for diesel.  

My gut says spark is way to go, but by head says rail needs to operate in the most economic way possible.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Additionally 1500VDC is not the best for heavy freights and just because the OH is there at both ends doesn't mean its suitable. The power supplys and other bits and pieces needs to be upgraded.
Agree. 1500 V DC is at the Wellington end. Both the centre section (to be mothballed) and the Auckland end are 25 kV 50 Hz AC. Even if dual-voltage locos were purchased I think there would be a sizable upgrade needed in the Wellington area in order for heavy freight trains to be operated. Don't know about AKL, but I can't imagine it would have been built with sufficient capacity for freight trains, so would expect a supply upgrade to be required there.

I wonder if an Australian is now running KiwiRail planning?
Look around the world, are they doing anything unusual, no. EU runs electric freight, but look at the traffic density for both passenger and freight compared to Kiwi land and Australia.

How many freight trains a day where using the O/H in NZ? There are 12-14 return freights a day under the wires in Qld and it still didn't add up. Even the wood chip train which was 100% under the wires was 100% diesel when I moved to Gladstone in early 1998.

The Vic govt cannot even justify building wires to Geelong and yes I'm sure the accountants in the govt are aware of 20-25 year economics of running diesel vs electric.

We all know electric traction economics doesn't make sense unless you have the traffic density, lets not pick on the kiwis for doing what makes economic sense.
RTT_Rules
Esp with the current crappy 1500 VDC system used.

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