Deal signed to deliver rail grinding machine to NZ

18 July 2012 4:04PM

A contract to deliver a specialised rail grinding machine to New Zealand was signed by KiwiRail and Australian firm Speno last week.

The contract will see a 51 metre yellow train like machine arrive on our shores to undertake rail surface smoothing work.

“The grinding work will primarilyy be undertaken along the major rail routes beginning with the East Coast Main Trunk and North Island Main Trunk and will result in a greatly improved track surface,” says Acting Chief Executive David Walsh.

The $30 million dollar RR24M-30A Rail Grinder, owned and operated by Speno, is due to arrive in August and commence track work in September.

“Over time the track railhead develops stress points, defects and metal build up from the steel wheels travelling on steel track.”

“Rail grinding has a range of benefits like improving the reliability and speed at which trains can travel, extending the life of the track and reducing the risk of derailment by smoothing and removing defect metal from the railhead.”

“In addition, grinding has some long term cost saving benefits like reduced fuel use as trains can travel with less effort and less track and wheel maintenance is required.  It also makes the ride a lot smoother for staff, passengers and freight.”

Grinding will be undertaken in addition to routine maintenance work done by our network staff.”

“There are no machines like it in New Zealand and the gauge of our tracks also makes it harder to source exactly the right machine so we are pretty happy to have found the most suitable piece of equipment. Given the only other option would be to build a machine from scratch it was the most cost effective option, especially considering that once complete the track will not need to be done again for a number of years.”

In addition the work will result in the creation of around six jobs for New Zealanders who will operate the machinery.

ENDS

Media Contact: Candice Johanson, Senior Communications Advisor, 04 498 3383 or 021 804 906