1000th new wagon marks significant milestone for KiwiRail
20 October 2015 12:12PM
KiwiRail’s goal of becoming a fully intermodal rail operator is significantly closer following the delivery of its 1000th new container flat top wagon, KiwiRail’s Group General Manager Operations Iain Hill says.
The company is marking the occasion by showcasing the new container flat top wagons and a selection of prototype wagons at an event in Auckland today attended by key customers and the manufacturer, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation.
“This milestone marks significant progress in providing a modern logistics solution – we can now meet customer needs better than we ever could before because around a quarter of our wagon fleet is now intermodal - meaning one container can easily be moved between ships, trains and trucks,” Mr Hill says.
Updating and standardising the nation’s rail wagon fleet is part of a wider business strategy which also saw the delivery of 48 new locomotives to support reliable and sustainable rail transport in New Zealand.
“Through modernisation, we’re creating an opportunity to grow our market share by making it easier for customers to carry freight on rail,” Mr Hill says.
“Logistics operations are large and interconnected and rail works best when it goes hand in hand with other transport and across various industries. We’ve developed our standard wagon prototypes to be used to carry pretty much anything with only minor customisation.
“We’re also working closely with ports, freight forwarders and manufacturers to optimise future freight flows on the 900 freight trains we run weekly on our national freight network, which includes the Interislander.”
“As freight hubs converge we’re prioritising our key transport routes and increasing efficiencies at a local level. The number of links to the KiwiRail network is growing with several new sidings installed on customer sites in the last few years.
“Businesses and consumers are increasingly conscious about their environmental impacts. Moving freight by rail is an efficient use of fuel, with lower CO2 emissions than moving equivalent loads by road. Currently rail accounts for less than 2% of the energy used by the transport sector while completing 16% of freight movements.
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About the new intermodal flat top container wagons
The new wagons and locos have been developed by KiwiRail with China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC). KiwiRail has been working with CRRC since 2008 when KiwiRail first made the decision to become intermodal.
Since the first wagons were delivered in 2008 they have each travelled around 850,000kms and carried an average of 685,000 tonnes.
A lot of design and development goes into rolling stock and the products KiwiRail has developed with CRRC are of high quality and designed to meet customers’ needs.
CRRC is KiwiRail’s preferred supplier for rail rolling stock and the world’s largest producer of rail assets. CRRC and KiwiRail are continuing to work together to improve and develop wagons and DL locos as part of KiwiRail’s strategy to develop, modernise and standardise its fleet.
These wagons are a significant financial investment and KiwiRail is replacing its aging fleet progressively to make best use of existing assets and maximize return on investment while still meeting customer needs.
At this stage the flat top wagons are used to carry only containerised freight. In future, we anticipate them also carrying specialised containers, cradles etc. This means that over time we will gradually phase out most old, single-purpose wagons in favour of intermodal wagons that can be adapted to carry any type of freight.