Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

The place to discuss better transport for the North Island excluding Auckland and Wellington
Forum rules
Please be courteous and factual. Remember that it is entirely normal for others to disagree with you. Forum moderators reserve the right to restrict access in the event of offensive behaviour.
No commercial postings. This will result in user deletion.
Please stay on topic and remind other contributors to stay on topic.
No gratuitous profanity. "Gratuitous" is decided on a case by case basis.
Please report posts that you consider offensive instead of posting about it in the topic. Any comments regarding moderation should be confined to About This Forum.

Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby geoff_184 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:55 pm

$1m to get logs off road
By NICK CHURCHOUSE - The Dominion Post

The Nelson Mail

HEAVY LOAD: Pentarch Forest Products has scored $975,000 over three years from the Transport Agency if it shifts road-freighted logs to trains.

A million-dollar rail freight subsidy for an Australian-owned logging company has angered truckies, but the Government says it is a hangover from the Labour years and will not happen again.

Pentarch Forest Products has scored $975,000 over three years from the Transport Agency if it shifts road-freighted logs to trains in an effort to lower road maintenance costs.

Rail consignments of export logs from Masterton, Marton and Wanganui to Wellington would get $3 a tonne in the first year, decreasing by $1 a tonne each year after.

Deborah Hume, the transport agency's director for Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman, said the deal would save more than $1 million on road maintenance from the reduced heavy traffic.

But Road Transport Forum chief executive Tony Friedlander said it was a stupid move and contradicted the Government's direction on transport policy.

The subsidy, in effect, took business away from road freighters, who paid road user charges, and was an inefficient use of scarce roading funds.

"We object very strongly to money from road users being used to subsidise freight of any form. It's stupid for road users to have to subside freight."

Freight firms should pay the actual costs of their activities, and he preferred that truckers paid higher road charges if the agency needed more money.

The subsidy showed a "lack of good faith" in the current review of road user charges. "This approach is out of context with the general direction the Government is taking across the board.

"I find it surprising, given that the minister of transport only recently said he is not interested in subsidising coastal shipping because he doesn't want to go down the path of freight subsidies."

Transport Minister Stephen Joyce said he had not changed that approach. "It is the old government's direction and it is inconsistent with the new approach."

With KiwiRail now owned by the state, it was important to get freight pricing right to avoid complaints from the private sector, Mr Joyce said. Subsidies would not be part of new transport policy for the 2009-10 year.

"It's the last hurrah for that particular approach. Our new approach is to get the pricing right across the three freight modes."

Pentarch managing director Peter Hill said the subsidy made the transfer to rail easier. A tonne of logs cost $15 to $20 to transport by rail and the subsidy would reduce logging traffic and boost Pentarch's export capability.

The company had the potential to double exports but was held back by the lack of space to store logs at Wellington's CentrePort.

Mr Hill said rail yards doubled as extra storage and, if there were enough trains, they could easily increase exports to 200,000 tonnes by 2011.

The subsidy was not a huge win for the industry, he said, but was satisfying after three years of negotiations. "Now we have to make it work."

It was being funded from the National Land Transport Programme, which is made up of Government funding, petrol taxes, road user charges, and motor vehicle registration and licensing fees
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NewZealandLocomotives/
User avatar
geoff_184
Uber Transit Geek
 
Posts: 7943
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:51 am
Location: Swansonville

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby cbtadmin » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:02 pm

Freight firms should pay the actual costs of their activities, and he preferred that truckers paid higher road charges if the agency needed more money.


So Tony wouldn't object if a million dollars was raised from road user charges on this particular road, to pay for the damage?
User avatar
cbtadmin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:57 am
Location: Auckland

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby Kevyn Miller » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:31 pm

A million dollars would have been raised from road user charges on this particular road, to pay for the damage but with no guarantee that it would actually have been spent repairing the damage to that particular road rather than being diverted to pay for Transmission gully or some other unrelated expense. This scheme has reduced the transport agancy's revenues by a million dollars without reducing it's expenses by any measurable amount. Or, at least that would have been the case before Labour made it's string of adhoc changes to petrol taxes and RUCs and before the construction cost index went through the roof and Freidlander does seem to be hinting that RUCs have fallen behind real maintenance costs. That would never have happened if politicians had adhered to the original intention of the RUC legislation to have annual adjustments set by the MoT using it's sophisticated cost allocation model. That would have captured all the impacts of changes to expenditure priorities and cost components within a year of them happening.

Sometines living in a democracy is definitely worse than living in a technocracy.
User avatar
Kevyn Miller
Bus Foamer
 
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:32 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby cbtadmin » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:34 am

If the trucking companies are so agreeable to increased RUC charges, why did they go out and protest the increase last year. Was it more of an anti-Labour Govt thing then, or just the fact they didn't get much notice about it?
User avatar
cbtadmin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:57 am
Location: Auckland

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby doloras » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:39 am

Kevyn Miller wrote:Sometines living in a democracy is definitely worse than living in a technocracy.


Well, there's definitely an undercurrent in our society that we don't really believe in democracy, that there is an "enlightened caste" of technocrats/business leaders/academics who have all the answers and should decide for themselves what is best for us common gutter folks. I reject that utterly.
Rename the City Rail Link the Trans-Auckland Express! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma8IgxHcAoE

http://silver-machine.blogspot.com
User avatar
doloras
Railfan
 
Posts: 2447
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:13 am
Location: flying sideways through time

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby eurokiwi78 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:25 am

I think the subsidy is fantastic news, anything that reduces the amount of trucks going thru small towns where they interface with school children, elderly pedestrians etc has got to be safer than more and more logging trucks.

And reducing the amount of trucks going over the Rimutaka Hill road is also a good thing. Pity Steve Joyce doesnt share that enthusiasm. His roading mates do weild an enormous amount of influence within that political party, to much for me to consider voting for them.
car free for over a year
eurokiwi78
Certified Trainspotter
 
Posts: 3920
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:54 pm
Location: A tropical paradise

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby TechnicianX » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:25 am

eurokiwi78 wrote:I think the subsidy is fantastic news, anything that reduces the amount of trucks going thru small towns where they interface with school children, elderly pedestrians etc has got to be safer than more and more logging trucks.

And reducing the amount of trucks going over the Rimutaka Hill road is also a good thing. Pity Steve Joyce doesnt share that enthusiasm. His roading mates do weild an enormous amount of influence within that political party, to much for me to consider voting for them.

"Won't happen again...", darned idiots. This really just reaffirms my decision of not giving National any votes.

Your point of not having logging trucks on the roads is quite a valid one as there was a case in the news very recently of a logging truck losing its entire load (in NZ, can't remember exact place though). Pure luck that no one was hurt in that incident yet still National believes that somehow transporting all those logs via trucks is better than rail.
I've been to ADK hell and back...
User avatar
TechnicianX
Bus Foamer
 
Posts: 839
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:32 am
Location: The Gardens via Manurewa

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby jarbury » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:32 am

Yes the government sounds pretty stupid here... like "OMG we're so sorry for annoying our best buddies, it's not our fault!"

The Rimutaka route is a classic example of where the train has a huge natural benefit over the road. The road ends up being closed a heck of a lot throughout winter, creating uncertainty and a very unsafe road. The road would take a lot longer for a truck to go over than it would for a freight train to go through the tunnel. Oh, and the maintenance costs of course.
Stay on topic, don't troll, if pain persists please see the site admin.

All posts are my personal opinions.
User avatar
jarbury
Uber Transit Geek
 
Posts: 8895
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:05 pm
Location: Herne Bay - Back on the Outer Link & 005

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby millsy » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:45 am

What do you expect? This is the National party after all. They are as pro-roads as much as the US GOP is pro war.

Its a pity though, our rail network is grossly underutilised, and I really get pissed off when I have to run the gauntlet with 18-wheelers when I go out on the open road...
millsy
Trainee Transport Geek
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:27 pm

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby john-ston » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:36 am

cbtadmin wrote:If the trucking companies are so agreeable to increased RUC charges, why did they go out and protest the increase last year. Was it more of an anti-Labour Govt thing then, or just the fact they didn't get much notice about it?


I would suggest that it was more to do with the lack of notice; as Road User Charge payers ourselves, we didn't find out until less than a week before the Road User Charges increased. Traditionally, warning was given a month before Road User Charges are changed.

BTW, RUC charges is an example of poor grammar (you are repeating the word charges twice), it is just as bad as saying AUT University.
john-ston
Uber Transit Geek
 
Posts: 16326
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:02 pm

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby jarbury » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:40 am

I think they were announced just before they came into effect to avoid people "stockpiling" RUC allocations. Personally I reckon RUC should be abandoned and the cost just wrapped into the price of diesel. Seems to be the fairest way of doing stuff.
Stay on topic, don't troll, if pain persists please see the site admin.

All posts are my personal opinions.
User avatar
jarbury
Uber Transit Geek
 
Posts: 8895
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:05 pm
Location: Herne Bay - Back on the Outer Link & 005

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby john-ston » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:05 am

jarbury wrote:I think they were announced just before they came into effect to avoid people "stockpiling" RUC allocations. Personally I reckon RUC should be abandoned and the cost just wrapped into the price of diesel. Seems to be the fairest way of doing stuff.


The issue I can see with that is if we wish to remove the truckies subsidy, it would mean that you would hike the diesel fuel tax, and that would come back to bite the diesel motor vehicle users. From an encouraging fuel efficiency point of view, I would have to agree, but from an eliminating subsidies point of view, I would have to disagree.
john-ston
Uber Transit Geek
 
Posts: 16326
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:02 pm

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby cbtadmin » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:19 am

But the RUC is designed so that the more damage trucks do, the more they pay, which is fair enough considering if you double the weight of a vehicle it does 16x more damage to the road (apparently). For instance a 50 ton truck pays a lot more than a diesel car. Also there is a price difference for double axle trucks vs single axle trucks.
User avatar
cbtadmin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:57 am
Location: Auckland

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby john-ston » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:39 am

cbtadmin wrote:But the RUC is designed so that the more damage trucks do, the more they pay, which is fair enough considering if you double the weight of a vehicle it does 16x more damage to the road (apparently). For instance a 50 ton truck pays a lot more than a diesel car. Also there is a price difference for double axle trucks vs single axle trucks.


That was my point in a sense; wrapping the RUC into the price of diesel would merely mean that diesel car drivers end up subsidising truckies.
john-ston
Uber Transit Geek
 
Posts: 16326
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:02 pm

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby jarbury » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:54 am

I thought that diesel car users often complain because they're unfairly treated by RUC? In that, the tax they pay for a really efficient small car is the same as for a diesel four-wheel drive. I can see how large trucks might need to be taxed differently, due to the hugely greater effect they have on the roads... though one would imagine they use a greater amount of diesel per km.
Stay on topic, don't troll, if pain persists please see the site admin.

All posts are my personal opinions.
User avatar
jarbury
Uber Transit Geek
 
Posts: 8895
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:05 pm
Location: Herne Bay - Back on the Outer Link & 005

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby Kevyn Miller » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:20 pm

jarbury wrote:I think they were announced just before they came into effect to avoid people "stockpiling" RUC allocations. Personally I reckon RUC should be abandoned and the cost just wrapped into the price of diesel. Seems to be the fairest way of doing stuff.


At the heart of the protest was the fact that the government gazetted a RUC rates order with no increase in rates for heavy vehicles then a month later they gazetted a new order with the 10% increase. Firms had prepared their budgets and in many cases renewed annual contracts on the basis of the original rates order.

I don't have a problem with replacing RUCs on light vehicles with a diesel fuel tax with a corresponding $20 dollar reduction in heavy vehicle RUCs. But replacing all RUCs with a diesel fuel tax will double the amount buses pay and halve the amount that logging trucks pay. This is assuming that a diesel tax will be set at 25 cents a litre which is what it is currently equivalent (comparison of diesel and petrol Hiace vans). If it is increased to match the 45 cent hypothecated petrol tax then it will be even worse news for buses.
User avatar
Kevyn Miller
Bus Foamer
 
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:32 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby Hood » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:47 pm

I as a transport operator was all for a fuel tax to replace RUCs, they would work on the basis that the heavier the vehicle the more fuel it would use thereby the more tax it would pay, as well as the further you go the more fuel you use therefore the more tax you pay. This would have the advantage of helping out the efficient operators and catching out the RUC cheats that are out there creating an even plying field.
Nb: I am no longer a transport operator due to the increased RUCs and fuel costs combined with reduced work load due to current economic climate.
Hood
Trainee Transport Geek
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:50 pm

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby royce » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:12 pm

Leaving aside all the arguements about RUC I would have to wonder why the rail company would need to have a subsidy.
My map tells me that Masterton Wellington is 100 km and Marton Wellington is at least 140 km. I think that this is not only a hangover from the last government but also from the last two railway companies who sought to extract maximium dollar. Presumably the wagons are availiable otherwise they would not be entering into a contract. There is no mention of new wagons. If my memory serves me right the wagons date back to the 1980 it is not as though they would need to be financed. New logging wagons where built in the 90's but they were overheight and could only be used in the Bay of Plenty. In addition the Masteron tonnage would not even require an additional locomotive for the daily train to the port. There must be plenty of trains passing through Marton with capacity as well. Kiwirail must resist the temptation of pulling the wagons out of the circuit if a more lucritive job becomes availible. This is an old trick which has caused a lot of bad blood between NZR, Tranz Rail ,Toll and their customers. They have all been guilty and they wonder why people dont like them. So it goes both ways. Anyway it is probably time to convert some container wagons into log wagons or even build some new ones. RUC may not be high enough but a change of attitude by the rail company would go along way.
royce
Railfan
 
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 3:11 pm

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby eurokiwi78 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:46 pm

I like the concept of ruc's Being abolished and put into the pump price of diesel but it creates a problem with off road use (locomotives, tractors, boats etc) then paying road taxes.

I hate seeing trucks with. Broken hubdometers blatantly flouting the law too.
car free for over a year
eurokiwi78
Certified Trainspotter
 
Posts: 3920
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:54 pm
Location: A tropical paradise

Re: Logs Move To Rail - Government Says "Won't Happen Again"

Postby geoff_184 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:09 am

New logging wagons where built in the 90's


Most of the log wagons in the BOP (ULA, ULC and USL classes) were built in the 60's and 70's, and modified over the years.

Most of the new FB class log wagons built in the 90's were converted to milk wagons for the Oringi/Longburn/Whareroa circuit, although the newer FC type remain in BOP log traffic service, however they are small in number by comparison with the older types which make up most of the active fleet. The new wagons could actually be used in the Wairarapa if required, as they have retractable cradles, meaning you can make them fit different loading gauges according to each route. You wouldn't want to do that if you could help it though, as it makes little sense to use wagons at less than capacity. Better to use the older USL's down south.

ULA and ULC wagons make up the bulk of the BOP fleet and are overgauge for most of the network, but the USL class can go anywhere, which is why they use them between Northland and the BOP, and in the South Island. Recently some of them went to Wellington for use on the Waingawa run.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NewZealandLocomotives/
User avatar
geoff_184
Uber Transit Geek
 
Posts: 7943
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:51 am
Location: Swansonville

Next

Return to North Island Transport Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron