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Media Articles

Postby MacRiada » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:12 pm

Expert: Suburban sprawl a short-term solution

Is a booming Christchurch swelling in the right places? Or is a property bust in the offing? JOHN McCRONE reports.

'I'll lay down a prediction right now. You give that new house out in the 'exurbs' 10 years and you won't be able to sell it for what you paid to build it," warns University of Canterbury engineering professor and energy expert Susan Krumdieck.

Following the earthquakes, Krumdieck is alarmed about how Christchurch is now endorsing a car-based sprawl.

Check the property pages and you can see where the 12,000 people being pushed out of the red- zoned city suburbs are heading, she says. West Melton, Halswell, Prebbleton, Yaldhurst, Northwood, Lincoln, Rolleston, Pegasus, Rangiora and beyond.

There is a rash of exurban subdivisions being hurried on to the market. Just hop in the car and keep driving until the land becomes cheap enough to build. Worry about the commute to work, schools, shops - everything, really - only after you are settled.

Krumdieck says it is a short-term solution guaranteed to create a long-term headache.

The era of cheap oil is coming to an end, the cost of fuel is only going to rise, she says.

Kiwis have been somewhat buffered because the dollar is so high, but already, in places like the United States and Canada, property values in these kinds of rural fringe and satellite town subdivisions are collapsing.

"We're talking about US$800,000 houses going down to US$150,000 and not selling after a year and a half. Foreclosure rates out of control. Tumbleweed developments."

The McMansion paradises of just five years ago are becoming this century's instant slums. The market has flipped because people are looking at the future and deciding they need to get back into "liveable" city neighbourhoods.

Krumdieck, who is American, spent last year on sabbatical in her hometown of Denver, a classic modern sprawl city, and witnessed it first hand.

"If you look at the advertisements for what is selling, you can count the number of times 'walking distance to the light rail' now turns up. It's the No 1 marketing point. Walking distance to restaurants, walking distance to shops."

It is a generational change as well. Retiring baby boomers and urban-minded Gen Y want to get back into the energy-efficient city. Neither wants to get caught at the end of a highway as fuel prices ratchet up over the next 20 years.

Which makes Christchurch's sudden greenfield expansion a dangerous choice, Krumdieck says - a gamble of the one-time reinvestment of $2 billion in red- zone payouts which could cost the city and homeowners dearly.


Read the rest of the article at stuff.co.nz
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The Kingston Flyer

Postby MacRiada » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:15 pm

For sale: First-class trainload of dreams

The owner of the Kingston Flyer has put the business on the market for $2.5 million and says an extensive overhaul of a 1920s-built locomotive has given the steam train a new lease of life.

Owner David Bryce rescued the Flyer in 2011 after a protracted receivership wrangle.

In December he said he was considering selling up, citing his health when the Flyer was hit by gremlins and he temporarily suspended operations because a leaky locomotive needed critical maintenance.

Yesterday Mr Bryce announced the Flyer was for sale with Tourism Property Brokers, who say the business is debt-free and the replacement cost of locomotives, carriages, land, chattels and plant far exceeds the asking price.

The sale includes a cafe and bar, residential sections and associated rail corridor titles.

There are two Flyer locomotives, AB778 built in 1925 and AB795 built in 1927.

Extensive maintenance was completed on AB795, which has been running between Kingston and Fairlight since the New Year.

Mr Bryce said the boiler was completely overhauled and repairing and maintaining locomotives was an expensive exercise.

"If the money had been spent on both of them by the previous owners instead of being used and abused . . . We've spent a lot of money on one and hopefully that will continue to operate for many years to come.

"The train is in good nick, more efficient than it has ever been."


Read the rest of the article at stuff.co.nz
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Locomotive back on track

Postby MacRiada » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:17 pm

Locomotive back on track

A six-year project to repair an 89-year-old steam engine finally came to a close yesterday, much to the relief of the unpaid volunteers who made it happen.

Volunteers from the Oamaru Steam and Rail Society have been refitting the society's 1924 Hudswell Clarke B10 locomotive for the past six years, after the train failed its 10-year survey in 2007.

Society manager Harry Andrew said the fully-restored engine was fired up successfully yesterday and would be back in action next month.

Mr Andrew said he was ''confident'' that the boiler repairs would receive an official go-ahead from Maritime NZ, which has jurisdiction over pressurised vessels, today.

He said volunteers had put in a total of 2500 man-hours into completing the restoration.

''This has been six years in the making with a team of volunteers, and a lot of hard work,'' he said.


Read the rest of the article at odt.co.nz
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Cruisers get a taste for wineries

Postby MacRiada » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:32 pm

Winemakers say the growing cruise ship industry is becoming a powerful promotional tool for them, as bus tours bring the world to their door.

About 210,000 to 220,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to have visited New Zealand by the end of this season, up 20 per cent on the previous year.

Of those, 21 ships carrying 46,365 passengers visited Marlborough, with many of those passengers visiting Marlborough wineries.

Other wine districts in Hawkes Bay and Martinborough, alongside Marlborough, are jostling more and more for a place on the itineraries of cruise ship tours.

"The wine tours have evolved into an indispensable global marketing tool, which brings our target market to our door and allows us to interact with them in a way we could never do in their own country," said Marlborough vintner Allan Scott.

Mr Scott said his winery received up to 300 passengers on a day when a ship was in port, and cruises were becoming a significant source of revenue.


Read the rest of the article at stuff.co.nz
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Bluff gala train ride a journey back in time

Postby MacRiada » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:35 pm

Southlanders can take a trip along a train route closed to passengers for more than 30 years during the Bluff Family Gala this month.

Gala weekend co-organiser Dianne Blair said a train car would be running between Invercargill and Bluff for the weekend, giving Southland children a chance to experience train travel.

Bluff-Invercargill passenger rail services were stopped in 1967, with the Kingston Flyer operating a passenger run to Bluff between 1979 and 1982.

As well as providing a new experience for children, the train journey would be a chance for older passengers to reminisce about the slightly salacious reputation of the school train, which carried high school pupils between Bluff and Invercargill, she said.


Read the rest of the article at stuff.co.nz
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Students plan Christchurch bus station

Postby MacRiada » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:48 am

The city's new bus interchange should be a mix of the old and the new, with the feel of a train station, say a group of year 12 students tackling the challenge of designing it.

The five Burnside High School teenagers are jumping into the city rebuild via the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's "The Amazing Place" competition, which invites Christchurch youth to develop a project that is part of the rebuild.

Having been warned not to pick anything "too unrealistic" like the stadium or convention centre, the group chose to design the new bus interchange.

To get an accurate picture of what residents want and need from a new interchange, the students are running a survey. Early responses suggest the old interchange was undesirable, run down and "dodgy".

Group member Josh Oliver said they wanted to "improve what the old and temporary exchanges have to offer" by creating a "modern, clean, innovative building that looks inviting".

Oliver suggested their design might have a train station type feel, with cafes, restaurants, shops and an international currency exchange.

Students participating in the competition must follow through the entire design process, including geographic analysis of the land, project budgets and funding.

Read the rest of the Article at stuff.co.nz
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Timaru Council sees risks in separate cycle lanes

Postby MacRiada » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:31 pm

Timaru District Council sees risks in separate cycle lanes
Separate cycle lanes are not likely to make an appearance in Timaru any time soon.

Cycling advocacy group Squeaky Wheel approached the Timaru District Council this year asking it to consider cycle lanes between the kerb and parked cars, rather than between parked cars and the traffic lane.

After looking at the options, council land transport manager Andrew Dixon told the district services committee this week he did not think moving the lanes would be any safer for Timaru cyclists.

But he considered it a good concept which would work well in an inner city environment where there were few driveways and areas where cyclists could be hidden from motorists' view.

While such a set-up might seem safer, there were many associated safety hazards.

"The fundamental road safety measure is being seen. This is supported by historical cycle-crash data that clearly indicates the majority of cycle crashes are vehicles failing to give way to cyclists.

"Kerbside cycle lanes obscure the cyclist to vehicles, more particularly to intersections and driveways."

The advantage of such positioning would be less risk of cyclists being hit by drivers opening car doors, but they could be at risk from passengers not used to cyclists on their left and opening their doors in front of them.

He acknowledged Squeaky Wheel's suggestion would be less intimidating for young or less experienced cyclists.


Read the more of the article at stuff.co.nz
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Main North Line slip

Postby MacRiada » Tue May 07, 2013 10:53 pm

Land slip stops train

The railway line between Picton and Christchurch is closed because of a land slip caused by flooding.

The line closed around 6.30am on Monday morning and was expected to reopen later today.

A KiwiRail spokeswoman said staff were working to repair the section of damaged track at Vernon, south of Blenheim.
No passengers were affected as the Coastal Pacific train finished for winter on Sunday, she said.

KiwiRail would begin to clear the backlog of freight once the line reopened.

''We have been keeping in close contact with freight customers while the track has been closed to update them of the situation,'' she said.


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Re: Media Articles

Postby eurokiwi78 » Wed May 08, 2013 10:03 am

Surprised they didnt mothball it.
car free for over a year
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Re: Media Articles

Postby geoff_184 » Wed May 08, 2013 1:53 pm

MNL Washout:

Image
Image
Image

And some scouring:

Image
Last edited by geoff_184 on Wed May 08, 2013 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NewZealandLocomotives/
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Re: Media Articles

Postby pcuser42 » Wed May 08, 2013 1:55 pm

geoff_184 wrote:Image
Image
Image


"We are sorry, you can not display images hosted by Yahoo! Groups on non Yahoo! Groups pages."
We are now arriving at Puhinui. Change here --------- for Southern Line services. To open the door, press the green button when lit.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby geoff_184 » Wed May 08, 2013 1:56 pm

And yet all three images are displayed in my post, and your reply :lol:
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Re: Media Articles

Postby pcuser42 » Wed May 08, 2013 2:19 pm

geoff_184 wrote:And yet all three images are displayed in my post, and your reply :lol:


And I'm also a member...
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Re: Media Articles

Postby locost_bryan » Wed May 08, 2013 3:35 pm

pcuser42 wrote:
geoff_184 wrote:And yet all three images are displayed in my post, and your reply :lol:


And I'm also a member...

So am I, and I can see them fine on the group, but not here. :?
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Re: Media Articles

Postby Chris Randal. » Wed May 08, 2013 3:42 pm

geoff_184 wrote:And yet all three images are displayed in my post, and your reply :lol:


Not on mine- just funny looking boxes.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby scooter » Wed May 08, 2013 3:53 pm

Same here
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Re: Media Articles

Postby kaiwhara » Wed May 08, 2013 4:07 pm

Nothing here Geoff, just the word Image...
Beware. I know everything. Mostly. Not quite. Ummmmmm... Can I ask the Audience???
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Re: Media Articles

Postby geoff_184 » Wed May 08, 2013 4:39 pm

Try now.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NewZealandLocomotives/
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Re: Media Articles

Postby Chris Randal. » Wed May 08, 2013 4:56 pm

geoff_184 wrote:Try now.


That's better.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby eurokiwi78 » Wed May 08, 2013 10:55 pm

geoff_184 wrote:MNL Washout:

Image
Image
Image

And some scouring:

Image


mothball this line immediately, it is clearly uneconomic.
car free for over a year
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