Why is the $1.8b East-West Link is being funded but a $58 million rail project is being ignored despite yielding more value?
Julie Anne Genter’s line of questioning leaves little doubt that idealology is the main driver in funding the 2-billion-dollar road, and Bridges’ ‘answers’ confirm it.
With Maggie Barry looking as smug AF in the background, Bridges tries to hack his way through the argument with distractions and slander. So muddled in old and new reports, costs and benefits, that Bridges begins to claim a transport policy that sounds a lot like the Greens’, and even goes as far as calling Genter NZ’s foremost transport economist, twice!
Check out the full clip on Julie Anne’s Facebook Page (below) or InTheHouse – Bridges quip about NZs transport economist might be on the money.
The project was one of the so-called “Think Big” projects of the Muldoon era and a response to the oil price shocks of the 1970s and early 1980s. A factor in the decision was that the diesel locomotives at the time were not powerful enough to transport the freight up the gradients in the central North Island, meaning a second locomotive had to be used. Electrifying the relatively level sections of line between Wellington and Palmerston North and between Te Rapa and Auckland was not considered economically justifiable at the time. Technology has advanced to the point that diesels can now deliver this horsepower. The DL locomotives are powerful enough to negotiate the gradients without needing to be doubled up.
NZ first used DX class locomotives in 1972. Compare this with the Chinese DL locomotives, and they are the same weight, horsepower and drive system. Just that 1972 was 14 years before the first EF locomotive.
The poor reliability of the DL locomotives means that they are often doubled-up Continue reading →
The title implies that KiwiRail have been mulling over the ‘decision’ for a while, just that they had to write a press release and make it seem credible to get it over the line. Then they gave up, wrote some drivel, and released it the day before Christmas in the hope that no-one would see it. Happy reading, especially the bit where the CEO drags Air New Zealand into it.
KiwiRail will improve its reliability and efficiency for customers by employing an all-diesel fleet on the North Island Main Trunk line, KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says.
The small fleet of almost 30 year old electric trains that currently operate only between Hamilton and Palmerston North will be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. The decision allows for the electric infrastructure on the line to remain in place and be maintained to a safe standard for any future use.
The North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) runs from Auckland to Wellington but is electrified only between Hamilton and Palmerston North. Mr Reidy says KiwiRail is essentially running “a railway within a railway” by having the electric section.
“Imagine having to change planes at Hamilton and again at Palmerston North, just to fly from Auckland to Wellington. That’s not efficient, it’s more costly and ultimately delivers a less reliable service.
So did Stuff, describing Iain Hill’s plan ‘nuts’. Iain now works for China’s NZ agent for train stuff, and was doing his best in 2015 to discredit the electric trains when Chinese diesel trains weren’t doing a lot better.
1News – Leaked Documents Raise Serious Concerns about KiwiRail’s Decision. A slight bombshell where leaked KiwiRail documents reveal that keeping and upgrading the electirc locomotive fleet will save KiwiRail $230 million. And “Treasury also had concerns. Cabinet advice given to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows officials weren’t convinced by the business case. They warned KiwiRail “provided no basis for its cost estimate” “
Greater Auckland – KiwiRail de-electrification questioned. This has a bit of juicy info on why KiwiRail’s de-powering plan is a crock of shit, and is firm evidence that they did cook the books. And quotes from that Worly-Parsons report are gold.
Probably the biggest choke point on the Hutt Valley train line is between at Upper Hutt and Trentham, where commuter trains leaving Upper Hutt have to negotiate a stretch of single-track between the two stations. Continue reading →
So, cash-strapped, third-world countries might do this sort of thing, but most would expect forward-thinking countries like NZ to be expanding its electric railways, given climate change, sustainability and general ‘green’ stuff, right?
“Performing Poorly”: KiwiRail’s EF locomotives and their infrastructure could be axed as KiwiRail “reviews their future”. Photo: J Christianson / Wiki Creative Commons