LATEST NEWS: Media advisory: Interislander sailing to revised schedule on Wednesday 15 April          More


14 April 2015

The bad weather that is currently moving across the Cook Strait, with swells of up to five metres, is causing some delays to Interislander sailings.

1 April 2015

KiwiRail and the Tauranga City Council are working together to close off a walkway to an informal level crossing between Seaway Terrace and Ngatai Road in mid-April, due to safety concerns.

 

26 March 2015

KiwiRail is taking advantage of the quieter Easter period to undertake essential maintenance at five level crossings in Onehunga and around Papakura, .

The public is advised road detours  will be in place at Mays Rd and Church St in Onehunga and Sutton, Boundary and Crown Roads in the Papakura-Paerata area.  The works on the rail network will help keep Auckland’s passenger and freight trains running safely and efficiently and mean less overall track maintenance is needed.

“There will be road closures at each of these level crossings and clearly signposted detours in place,” says KiwiRail Northern Regional Manager Stephen Collett.

“During the closures we’re replacing sleepers and  ballast, and resurfacing the crossings to ensure they remain in good condition for trains and road vehicles.

“We understand our work may cause some disruption but much of it can only be completed when fewer, or no, trains are running. Unlike roads we can’t easily close a level crossing easily – trains can’t follow a detour - so when we can get access to the tracks with no trains we focus on getting a lot of important work done.”

Stephen says KiwiRail aims to complete the work as efficiently and safely as possible and aims to get the roads back to normal after the Easter break, “We thank those affected by the closures for their patience and cooperation.”

Other maintenance and upgrade works are scheduled across the region, including Hospital Rd, Middlemore, Panmure. These may cause some distraction and KiwiRail is asking residents to be extra cautious when driving near the rail network and follow the detours.

ENDS

 

About the works

Mays Road and Church Street

Friday 3: Church Street level crossing closed.

Saturday 4: Church Street level crossing closed.

Sunday 5: Church Street AND Mays Road level crossing closed*

Monday 6: Mays Road level crossing closed.

* 2 ½ days have been allocated for Church Street and 1 ½ days for Mays Road.

Boundary Road, Sutton Road and Crown Road

Friday 3 – Monday 6: closed.

Additional rail works: Auckland Transport and NZTA are also working in the rail corridor over Easter.

25 March 2015

The level crossing on Richard Pearse Drive across the Main South Line in Temuka is to be upgraded this weekend with the installation of specially designed rubber ground panels.

25 March 2015

KiwiRail advises Mosgiel residents that upcoming maintenance works to improve under-track conditions will see road detours clearly signposted and train protection systems temporarily turned off on 18 to 19 April, 2015. Over this weekend the largest set up of KiwiRail’s rail maintenance machines, the ballast cleaner, is coming to town.

We thank the community in advance for their patience as we carry out this important work says KiwiRail’s Dunedin Area Manager Brian McAlister.

“Locals should expect some traffic congestion around Mosgiel Station and Riccarton Road. We also ask anyone near the rail network to take extra care and where possible avoid using the level crossings as the alarm bell system is turned off when the ballast cleaner passes slowly through.”

During the ballast cleaner’s visit Mosgiel residents are welcome to check it out, but please be aware the work can be noisy and dusty and ground vibrations can be expected.

Brian says the ballast cleaner creates quite an impressive sight as the specialist equipment we use are hooked together to create a train a few hundred metres long.

“It’s not often we get hold of this machine as it perform an extremely important job and is in high demand around the country. She arrived in the South Island mid-February, travelling on the Interislander, and Mosgiel is her last job before heading back over the Strait.”

“The cleaners make the trip once a year and clean the stones under the tracks using state of the art technology to sieve out the ‘good’ stones’ from the ‘bad’ stones and the re-aligns the rails afterwards.  Overtime vegetation can trap mud and dust and prevent the ballast from freely draining, causing a ragged surface. This of course adds a safety risk as it may cause a moving train to lean.”

The ballast cleaner will remove the problematic vegetation and ensure the track foundations are in good condition. This means a faster, smoother journey for our trains and less overall track maintenance.

KiwiRail aims to get the work done as efficiently and safely as possible, and we thank those affected for their patience and understanding as we work to improve our rail network.

ENDS

Media contact: David Miller, 021 804 906 or david.miller@kiwirail.co.nz.

23 March 2015

KiwiRail fears a tragedy could occur in Tuakau, following a significant rise in trespass incidents on the railway reported by KiwiRail train drivers in the area. KiwiRail is urging residents and visitors to stay off the rail tracks and only cross at official crossings.

 

KiwiRail is working with TrackSAFE and local Police to raise awareness of the importance of keeping off the tracks due to the dangers and is asking local residents to get involved too.

 

“This is an issue where with the involvement of community an injury or worse a death can potentially be avoided. Please let us know if you spot anyone crossing the track, or endeavor to discourage them from this unsafe activity - it might just save someone's life,” says KiwiRail’s Northern Regional Manager, Stephen Collett.

 

“The rail network is equivalent to a state highway, and you wouldn’t cross or walk along that. Around 20 trains a day pass through Tuakau - they can come at any time and travel at speeds up to 100km/hr. Our drivers dread seeing someone on the tracks as, unlike a car, trains can’t swerve to miss an object or stop quickly.

 

A collision between a train and a person can easily be avoided and Mr Collett urges locals to "Only use official crossings - not doing so is potentially lethal.”

 

TrackSAFE Manager Megan Drayton says trespassing on railway tracks is the leading cause of deaths on the railway in New Zealand and around the world.

 

“We would urge the people of Tuakau to cross at the proper points, always look both ways for trains and to wait for a train to pass before crossing,” she says. 

 

“Trains travel a lot faster than they look, and research has shown that it is impossible for people to accurately judge the speed of an approaching train.”

 

 

Media Contact: Vida McCord, 027 886 0933

 

12 March 2015

KiwiRail has written to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council today declining its request for more time in which to confirm its interest in leasing the mothballed Napier–Gisborne rail line.

In the letter to council chairman Fenton Wilson, KiwiRail cites concerns over the significant number of fundamental outstanding issues yet to be resolved, and signals it will now begin looking at rail enabled tourism ventures as possible users of the line.

KiwiRail has been working with the council and its potential operator for almost two years on options to re-establish a rail operation, KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy says. In November last year KiwiRail wrote to the council giving them the option of leasing the line and asking for a decision by the end of February this year.

Meanwhile, KiwiRail has been aware for two years of other parties with an expressed interest in operating tourism ventures on the line, Mr Reidy says.

"We have not progressed any of these options (other than registering that interest), in order to give the Council first preference for leasing the line. We are however reluctant to cause further delay to progressing these discussions.

Mr Reidy said that in a meeting last week with the Council Chairman and Chief Executive, they acknowledged the difficulties they faced in resolving the outstanding issues and developing a viable business case.

In light of that acknowledgment, and the interest expressed by other parties KiwiRail had decided it would not grant the request for more time.

The line will remain mothballed, which leaves the opportunity for it to reopen to rail operation should sufficient freight volumes and/or additional funding be secured to enable a commercially viable operation.

KiwiRail would ensure the Council is kept abreast of other discussions taking place around future uses of the line.

Mr Reidy said the outstanding issues in the business case for the proposed rail operation were significant.

The potential operator had yet to secure long term contracts with guaranteed volumes, with forestry companies, or other cargo owners to provide revenue certainty.

There were no confirmed private investors to fund the establishment of the proposed operating company and to cover the expected shortfall not covered by revenue earned; or suitable operational and risk management expertise identified to manage the proposed rail operation.

Fit for purpose rolling stock had yet to be found that can be made available for use in a timely and cost effective manner (noting KiwiRail has consistently advised it cannot provide suitable wagons).

In addition there was no clarity about the long term plans for maintenance of the Wairoa to Gisborne section of the line and accommodation of Gisborne City Vintage Rail’s requirements.

 

Media Contact: Jenni Austin, 021 961 495

6 March 2015

Interislander sailing to revised schedule

6 March 2015

Interislander is advising customers to expect delays to sailings today and over the weekend due to the severe weather that is currently moving across Cook Strait.

The weather is likely to impact on schedules over the coming couple of days. Strong winds of up to 60 knots in Picton Harbour caused the Aratere to move at its berth and this has damaged the loading ramp which is being currently assessed by Port Marlborough.

The ship itself has not been damaged.

Interislander is contacting affected customers and advising them of revised sailing times to ensure any delays to travel are minimsed. Text alerts are being sent out and people can text 322, type in ARR (arrival) or DEP (departure) for the latest estimated sailing times.

Aratere is expected to sail shortly once Port Marlborough has given safety clearance. The weather in the area is moderating and this will allow the ferries to continue operating although to a revised timetable.

Light motor vehicles are able to be loaded and disembarked from the ships but rail freight is not being carried until the port company has completed its assessment of the ramp.

 

Media Contact: 04 498 2038

5 March 2015

KiwiRail has this week met with representatives from Hawkes Bay Regional Council regarding its intentions to lease the Napier-Gisborne Line.

In February the Council resolved to ask for an extension of four months in order to finalise a business case for resuming rail operations on the line.

KiwiRail had set a deadline of 1 March 2015 for the Council to finalise its business case and make a decision on whether to lease the line. 

This week’s meetings between KiwiRail and the Council’s Chief Executive and Chairman enabled in depth discussions on the proposal to take place, says KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy.

KiwiRail is currently considering the request for the time extension and expects to make a decision on the request shortly. The council has been considering options for re-establishing rail services on the line since it was mothballed in 2012. 

 

Media Contact: 04 498 2038

 

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