Weekend Northland Special

27 March 2014 3:03PM

KiwiRail will operate special rail services for its Northland customers this weekend and is reminding motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to take care at level crossings in the region. 

Regular Northland services were temporarily suspended earlier in March after 40 DL locomotives were withdrawn from service, to allow for the removal of asbestos containing materials. 

“We are aware that there have been no trains in the region for three weeks, so want to ensure people remember to  take care as they approach any level crossings, and ensure there are no trains coming before they cross,” says KiwiRail Freight  general manager operations Aaron Temperton. 

“We have been keeping in contact with our customers and have arranged to run this special service to help them manage their freight requirements.  Freight movements around the country are usually quieter at the weekends so we have been able to make a locomotive available for this. ” 

The withdrawal of the 40 locomotives has meant a reduction in KiwiRail’s overall capacity.  An operational  plan has been developed to optimise the remaining locomotives  so  key services could be operated and critical freight  prioritised. 

The service will travel from Auckland to Whangarei overnight on Saturday, with services then to Kauri, Otiria and to Portland on Sunday before returning to Auckland in the early hours of Monday morning. 

The DL locomotives remain out of service as KiwiRail continues to progress the development of operational plans for eventual return to service.  

Ends.

Media Contact: Senior Communications Advisor Jenni Austin, 021 961 495