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 →
I can’t read this with a straight face.
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.
A list of Electric train press articles is here.
21 December 2016 11:11AM
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.
Continue reading →
KiwiRail has decided to axe the electric locomotive fleet running between Palmerston North and Hamilton. This post aims to document all the news media on the topic.
- KiwiRail’s Press release, timed just for Christmas: 21st of December, 2016.
- EF Q and A , also Comments on it
- The railway union, RMTU, predictably reacted on their drivers’ behalf, and then got political
- Then the Dom Post weighed-in
- KiwiRail CEO rebuts (lol)
- Former Dompost subeditor has a stab
- International Rail Journal – KiwiRail Abandons Electric Locomotives
- International Rail Journal – Earthquake and commentry on KiwiRail
- Scoop Business Desk article
- National Radio posted a story with a diesel loco as the pic…
- The Green Party started a petition
- Maori TV covered the story, also note the diesel loco!
- Transport Blog had a guest post, doing the locomotion.
- NZ Herald wrote about electric trains in 2015….
- 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.
- Scoop – Future-gazing with NZ First
- 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.
- NZ First – KiwiRail cooked the books on electric trains. A table of KiwiRail’s locomotive performance is published in the post, and it doesn’t paint a rosey picture of Chinese OR electric locomotives.
- Stuff – OP-Ed on importance of rail – touches on electric trains
- Greens – OIA material obtained from Treasury – Treasury questioning KiwiRail’s ‘better business case’ (mentioned in 1News ‘Bombshell’ above)
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
Continue reading →