• govt set to buy track back in New Zealand

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by David Benton
 
more on the proposed corporation to own the tracks , trackco .
interesting because of the description of it as a "a state entity with a policy objective as well as a "return aspect",. i did not relaise ti would be expected to return a profit , although if it gets $ 200 - 300 million of assets for $ 1 , a return should not be difficult to acheive .

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/busi ... ction=rail

  by Guest
 
Cameron Moore, 63, who formerly ran Chequer Packaging of Christchurch, said the only thing he knew about trains was that he used to ride to school on one.
Does this worry you any, or is his position fairly devoid of needing actually rail knowledge?

  by David Benton
 
Good question , and i dont really know the answer .
One thing it does tell me is who the government is trying to please in this exercise , The major manufacterers . They are Tolls biggest customers , and the ones with the voice that have been complaining about rail service over the last few years . Sadly i dont think much of the $ 200 million will go towards improving track for passenger services , although passenger services will benefit from any improvemnet to the lines they run on . to be fair there hasnt exactly been a huge demand form the public to imporve passenger rail ( long distance , the govt is improving commuter rail ) .
There also seem to be a perception that anyone that worked for either tranzrail or Nz rail before it , is outdated and somehow responsible for the mess rail is in , and need to be gotten rid of before rail can improve . Certainly this is false as a whole , the problem has always been capital starvation .

  by David Benton
 
A Safety report has been released on the state of the south island coal route . it is interesting in that it shows the maintenance ( or lack of it ) been carried out by tranzrail over the last few years . "defer" seems to be the key word .
However things dont seem as bad as thier chief customer seems to think .
http://xtramsn.co.nz/news/0,,3779-3460030,00.html .

heres the link to the actual report , which is a good insight into the state of the line , with pictures of track , bridges , tunnels ,and rolling stock .
http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/rail/coal-route/index.html

  by David Benton
 
this link to an article shows how much influence the railways major customers have in demanding rail be improved . Looks like the government is getting abit tired of the negotiations , but the second link announces the deal went through (late ?) last night . At least the govt gets an extra $ 10 million tax out of toll by completing the deal on June 30 , probably too much to hope they would spend that on rail .

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/busi ... ercode=TRH

the deal is done
http://xtramsn.co.nz/business/0,,5007-3480184,00.html
  by David Benton
 
The Deal between toll and the govt was sealed at 2 minutes to midnight last night .
Overall its good news , especially that the govt seem to be saying they realise it probably will need to spend more than $ 200 million to upgrade the tracks .
Its good to see the Greens get a mention for propsoing this change since 2001 .

National have come up with $ 183 million cost just for the coal route , where they got this fiqure from i dont know , $ 71 million was the previous "outrageous amount " that needed to be spent . apart form this they dont actually say its a bad thing .

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay. ... on=general

  by David Benton
 
abit more detail .

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/busi ... ercode=TRH

i like the bit " The existing New Zealand Railways Corp is in effect the new track-owning company until legislation is passed to turn it into a state entity with public policy objectives, rather than a state-owned enterprise with a profit motive. " seems to signify that the govt sees this move as a policy one , rather than a business one . Future governments may want to turn it into a profit raising venture , but obviously the current contract with toll would have to expire .

  by David Benton
 
And some details on where the $ 200 million will be spent . The "fan " in the Otira tunnel is a ventilation system to stop the trailing locos from overheating on the 8 km of 1 in 30 grades . presumably it will be upgraded to allow more locos per train , hence longer trains .

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/busi ... ction=rail

  by David Benton
 
Heres some details of how the coal route will be upgraded . a bit of confusion , it talks as if toll , the rail operator is upgrading the track . but the track is now owned by the government . so im not sure who is paying for it , toll , or if it is art of the $ 25 million the govt has said it will spend on the route .
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3005095a13,00.html

  by george matthews
 
David Benton wrote:And some details on where the $ 200 million will be spent . The "fan " in the Otira tunnel is a ventilation system to stop the trailing locos from overheating on the 8 km of 1 in 30 grades . presumably it will be upgraded to allow more locos per train , hence longer trains .
Presumably this line is not electrified.

  by David Benton
 
well ,it was through the tunnel and they pulled it out about 8 years ago . It was 1500 volts d.c , generally had 3 or 4 1500hp locos pulling up through the tunnels .
when they came to increase loads , the electricifcation wouldnt handle more locos . they looked at converting it to higher voltage a.c ,but as tranzrail was cash strapped , they decided to pull the electrics out , and run diesels straight through . thats where the fan came in . obviously not ideal , but the solution at the time .
Electrification may be considered again , it should be extended right over the mountains to take advantage of regenerative braking .