john-ston wrote:I am going to beg to differ.
So differ and shut up for all our sakes!
john-ston wrote:A read through the Main Highways Board reports from the 1930s would show you they were still making a big fuss over metalling the road network, let alone concreting or sealing it.
john-ston wrote:I am going to beg to differ
Capital Connection rescue package rejected
The New Zealand Transport Agency has scotched a proposed rescue package that could have saved the threatened Capital Connection rail service.
Yesterday Horizons Regional Council agreed to pursue a three-way funding proposal with Greater Wellington regional council and NZTA that would have required the three organisations to split the service's estimated $435,000 shortfall.
The KiwiRail-operated commuter service between Wellington and Palmerston North has been losing money since the capital's Tranz Metro service was extended to Waikanae in February last year.
NZTA central regional director Jenny Chetwynd said about 150 commuters got on and off the train between Palmerston North and Waikanae every day.
That was not enough to fulfil the agency's requirements for investment, as it did not relieve traffic congestion.
"We don't think it's fair to expect the motorist and ratepayer to subsidise approximately 150 passengers to travel by rail to the annual tune of $2770 each when we understand a commercially viable coach service could be provided, at no cost to the motorist or ratepayer, to get passengers to Waikanae, where they can pick up an already subsidised metro rail service into Wellington."
NZTA was encouraging both councils to promote a fully commercial coach service as a more cost effective solution.
Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon said that, if the Capital Connection was discontinued, alternatives would be explored.
"We don't want commuters left in the lurch and, if we are unsuccessful in maintaining the Capital Connection, then other services need to be looked into."
Capital Connection losses worse than thought
The Capital Connection was losing money before it started losing passengers to Wellington metro trains, revised figures show.
The revelation could provide food for thought for people debating the train's future.
Since the capital city's metro trains expanded to Waikanae in February last year, passenger numbers on the once-daily Palmerston North to Wellington service have fallen.
Until recently, KiwiRail wouldn't reveal the exact state of the train's books.
But last year its passenger general manager Deb Hume told the Manawatu Standard the train had been losing money since the opening of the metro extension.
It was assumed the train was profitable before that.
Now, after discovering a mistake in its accounting practices, KiwiRail has found that for much of 2010 the Capital Connection was losing money.
For the year, it made a loss of about $130,000 – making a loss for seven months and a profit for five months.
It was particularly successful in the March to June period, with passenger numbers peaking at 16,927 in March 2010. Even then, profit for the month was only $2936.
Since October 2010, the train has lost money every month, with the largest loss being about $84,000 in January this year.
A report on the Capital Connection, released to the Manawatu Standard by KiwiRail, sheds light on what happened.
It said overheads were wrongly allocated to the profitable Tranz Alpine service, while there were "other irregularities in allocation of some operating costs".
Because of that, the Capital Connection was considered to be profitable.
"Redressing these inequities means that we now have a clearer view of the true expenses generated by the Capital Connection," the report says.
"[We] know it is running at a loss."
During May 2012, the cost of keeping the train on the rails was $200,595.
The 15,476 people who caught it provided $173,327 revenue – a shortfall of $27,000.
The Horizons and Greater Wellington regional councils are now considering if there is a case for ratepayer money to prop up the train, after the NZ Transport Agency decided it would not contribute any subsidy.
Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon said the new figures required further study.
He said ticket prices on the train – which were increased last year – did not appear to have kept pace with costs.
"They've got to do small increases regularly to recoup the costs. They've never done that and they're so far behind now."
The councils are considering providing a bus service between Palmerston North and Waikanae to link with metro trains.
Capital Connection trainservice 'unviable'
The NZ Transport Agency has explained its decision not to fund the Capital Connection, saying it would not be a wise use of public money.
This week the agency dealt a blow to the Wellington-to-Palmerston North commuter train's already bleak future when it announced it would not contribute toward its estimated $500,000 annual shortfall.
Horizons and Greater Wellington regional councils are considering their options, but the chances of them forking out so much money to prop up an unprofitable service are slim.
KiwiRail figures show about 15,000 people travel on the train each month.
In contrast, 13 times more people catch the regular Wellington-to-Wairarapa train services that the transport agency does give money to.
Agency regional director Jenny Chetwynd said patronage on the Capital Connection was trending in the wrong direction, whereas the Wairarapa services were growing.
"We wouldn't be investing public money wisely if we sunk it into the Capital Connection," Ms Chetwynd said.
"The Capital Connection is a commercial service that has become unviable."
She did not say how much the agency gave to the Wairarapa trains.
Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon was philosophical about the explanation and said his council's efforts must focus on either finding a way to keep the train or set up a bus service to connect with Wellington metro trains at Waikanae.
The Capital Connection has been on borrowed time since the metro services extended to Waikanae in February last year, but revised figures show the train was losing money before then.
- © Fairfax NZ News
pickle wrote:Calum, the Wairarapa Connection is not council owned either. It operates as a service by Tranz Metro who collect subsidies and profit from it. Tranz Metro is another division of Kiwi Rail. They were split up because Tranz Metro was supposed to be for the subsidised services while Tranz Scenic for the commericial services. If the Capital Connection does get a subsidy then we may see it moved to become a Tranz Metro service.
pickle wrote:Point taken. But the fact remains that Tranz Metro are still profiting out of it.
grunter wrote:Incidently, the hook and tow contract only requires a DC as minimum on each service. Kiwirail can subsitute a higher HP loco for its operational conveince, but GWRC will only pay for a DC.
kaiwhara wrote:Hence why 1606 has been getting a double DC lately, as the extra HP is required for 645 coming back, yet GWRC only pay for one, but get the time advantage of having 2 on its busiest PM peak service!grunter wrote:Incidently, the hook and tow contract only requires a DC as minimum on each service. Kiwirail can subsitute a higher HP loco for its operational conveince, but GWRC will only pay for a DC.
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