Shared path upgrades on Hutt Road

Awesome to see work beginning on one of the worst sections to the daily cycle commute into Wellington, from Ngauranga. Getting rid of the poles is a fantastic start, and it’ll be great to see the project link up with the Thorndon Quay and Ngauranga sections of the cycleway.

The full story from Wellington City Council is here.

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Wellington to Hutt Valley Cycling Link – NZTA Consultation

NZTA have announced their latest round of cycleway consultations for the Wellington to Hutt Valley Cycling link. You can go to the NZTA website to download consultation documents and make submissions, the main document . As a former Petone to Wellington cycle commuter, I absolutely love the idea that a decent cycleway could be built between the two cities, and I strongly encourage you to make a submission before the 31 May closing date!

 

More Roads to ease the congestion?

The original piece by Michael Barnett was published on Stuff on 9 May, 2017.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Otaki MP Nathan Guy visit the Transmission Gully worksite.

OPINION: Travellers on the NZ Transport Agency’s new $630 million Kapiti expressway are questioning its benefits. Some peak hour travellers report a doubling of travel times.

One only needs to look at Auckland to see the folly of building more and more motorways to solve congestion and our leaders continue to offer this as the solution. On a recent tour of the Transmission Gully project, Transport Minister Simon Bridges brushed off suggestions that this will simply move the “chokepoints” further along Wellington’s motorway. Continue reading →

Toshiba targets European hybrid locomotive market

This is an example of railways using technologies to their advantage. Judging by the uptake of Hybrid cars, and more recently electric cars, electric is the way of the future!
GERMANY: Japan’s Toshiba and DB Cargo have agreed to undertake a feasibility study for the joint development and subsequent purchase of an initial 100 battery-diesel hybrid locomotives for shunting and short-distance freight operations. Test vehicles are expected to be available by the end of 2019. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Toshiba has supplied Japan Freight Rail Co with locomotives powered by a lithium ion battery topped up using a small diesel engine.

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KiwiRail to Dump Electric Trains – Dominion Post

The following article was first published in the Dompost in January. A list of other articles, opinion pieces and documents that relate to KiwiRail’s Electric Trains can be found here

KiwiRail has announced plans to ditch its North Island electric rail fleet and replace with diesel freight engines – a decision derided by environmentalist and Opposition MPs. 

But chief executive Peter Reidy says the switch will improve reliability and efficiency for Kiwirail’s customers.

Plans to replace 16 electric trains – each about 30 years old – which operated between Hamilton and Palmerston North would see diesel locomotives begin operating in phases over the next two years.

SUPPLIED


An electric freight train is to become a scarcity in the next two years.

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KiwiRail “EF Q and A”

KiwiRail’s reasoning or defense for quitting Electric Trains is published below, and can also be found on their website. I’ve added a few comments in blue.

A list of other documents found online media is in this post 

Why is only part of the NIMT electrified?

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 →