Media Articles

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Re: Media Articles

Postby geoff_184 » Thu May 09, 2013 7:51 am

eurokiwi78 wrote:mothball this line immediately, it is clearly uneconomic.


Watch this space?

If Solid Energy collapses, that's the Midland Line and West Coast gone, which probably changes the economics of the remaining Picton-Invercargill route. If future ferries don't have rail decks, will they want to keep the MNL, or just road bridge to Christchurch? Would the MSL on its own be worth keeping?

I do think there's a chance, albeit small, that the SI could lose its rail network.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby Chris Randal. » Thu May 09, 2013 8:33 am

geoff_184 wrote:Watch this space?

If Solid Energy collapses, that's the Midland Line and West Coast gone, which probably changes the economics of the remaining Picton-Invercargill route. If future ferries don't have rail decks, will they want to keep the MNL, or just road bridge to Christchurch? Would the MSL on its own be worth keeping?

I do think there's a chance, albeit small, that the SI could lose its rail network.


And that in turn affects the whole dynamics of KR.

Look for no rail in NZ outside AKL and WLG metro.

Perhaps that's why the farmer from Dipton is talking about closing Solid Energy - two birds with one stone?
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Re: Media Articles

Postby pete » Thu May 09, 2013 8:46 am

The collapse of SE does not mean the collapse of the demand for coal. Coal is at a low price at the moment, due to decreased demand from China and the glut of oil. However, sooner or later the cycle will turn up again and prices rise. The Midland line is the only economical way to get the coal to port. In the meantime, there's still other freight on the line from Westland Dairy, smaller coal providers, Fonterra etc.

I think what we will see is SE going back soley to its core function and the government selling it whole. The line is safe. Although it must surely be clear now the turnaround plan is not viable.

interestingly, Bill English was on record on Tuesday as stating that the government was still committed to KR which is reassuring.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby geoff_184 » Thu May 09, 2013 9:24 am

pete wrote:In the meantime, there's still other freight on the line from Westland Dairy, smaller coal providers, Fonterra etc.


Only enough for one train each way though. The Tranz won't be earning much, so I'm not convinced KR would regard one train a day as sufficient to pay for this line, which has a lot of infrastructure requirements, including the tunnel system.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby eurokiwi78 » Thu May 09, 2013 10:05 am

the sol was carrying one train a day when it was deemed uneconomic. the nal is currently not economic at 7-10 trains per week, the precedent has already been set.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby greenwelly » Thu May 09, 2013 10:14 am

geoff_184 wrote:
eurokiwi78 wrote:mothball this line immediately, it is clearly uneconomic.


If Solid Energy collapses, that's the Midland Line and West Coast gone, which probably changes the economics of the remaining Picton-Invercargill route. If future ferries don't have rail decks, will they want to keep the MNL, or just road bridge to Christchurch? Would the MSL on its own be worth keeping?

I do think there's a chance, albeit small, that the SI could lose its rail network.


The fact that Bathurst are continuing their fight through the seemingly never ending jungle of appeals to open a mine at Dennistion tends to imply that Stockton (1.8 million tonne output in 2012) remains an economic operation in its own right-( and would likely continue operations it the company was broken up)...

Sure, Spring creek is mothballed until prices recover, but never produced more than 400K tonne,

If Bathurst can emerge from the supplejack intact and actually open I think that it will be unlikely that the midland line would be closed or mothballed in the near future.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby pete » Thu May 09, 2013 10:59 am

Also there is one train a day to Darfield, plus an additional one train per day from August. There is also a train fro. Reefton with coal and gold bearing ore.

The difference between the likes of the line and the SOL is that the SOL was just a shortcut and did not generate freight in itself. The coal price wl rebound, and the line will be open and busy again, although maybe Solid Energy might have 100% overseas owners when it does, which might not be a bad thing.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby geoff_184 » Thu May 09, 2013 11:13 am

Darfield would probably be retained as a Waitoa-type branch, for Fonterra, if the ML ever ended up mothballed.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby locost_bryan » Thu May 09, 2013 12:32 pm

Even if the receivers were called in, the coal business would likely survive. It's all the capital intensive and unprofitable alternative energy and new technology projects that will be sold off or shut down. While Solid Energy (or the Government) would take a big one-off financial hit, they'd be left with a financially sustainable coal business. They'd just be back where they were in 2000...
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Re: Media Articles

Postby MacRiada » Thu May 09, 2013 4:09 pm

Slip fixed; trains good to go

Freight transport through Marlborough is back on track after severe storms broke the main trunk line.

KiwiRail had the line fixed and trains running at 7.15pm on Tuesday night after a storm on Monday caused an embankment to give way under the track near Blenheim.

In one section, part of the track fell away after heavy rain eroded the ballast.

KiwiRail senior communications spokeswoman Sarah Pomeroy said the slip affected four services and the bulk of the backlog was cleared by lunchtime on Wednesday.

The cost of rebuilding the embankment with rock and fill was still being evaluated and she did not have an estimate for the amount of money lost in wasted time to the freight companies.

The impact of large weather events could not be avoided and unusual situations could occur in any season, "however, we are continually working to lessen our susceptibility to such events," she said.


more info at stuff.co.nz
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Re:picton line

Postby dave the rave » Thu May 09, 2013 10:28 pm

wow this was a great achievement to get the picton line slips fixed and back running within 24 hours! I remember when slips like his use to close this line for days..
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Re: Re:picton line

Postby locost_bryan » Fri May 10, 2013 4:05 pm

dave the rave wrote:wow this was a great achievement to get the picton line slips fixed and back running within 24 hours! I remember when slips like his use to close this line for days..

13 hours (according to latest Express), really impressive! :D
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Re: Media Articles

Postby MacRiada » Fri May 10, 2013 11:51 pm

Council under fire for not backing bus plans

The Christchurch City Council is being accused of undermining Environment Canterbury's efforts to improve bus patronage by providing only limited funding for new public transport facilities.

Since the earthquakes, bus patronage in Christchurch has dropped dramatically and ECan is losing money.

To reduce costs and get people back on the buses, it has decided to overhaul the design of Christchurch's public transport network.

In the biggest restructuring of the network since the 1990s it will replace the radial network, whereby nearly all services end in the city centre, with a hub and spoke network.

The new network will have five core routes, four of which will travel across Christchurch via the central city. The fifth, the Orbiter, will travel around the city in a ring.

ECan was expecting the city council to support its plans by providing funding for suburban bus interchanges, but the draft Three Year Plan (TYP) released by the council includes only a small budgetary provision for public transport infrastructure over the next three years.

That has both ECan and New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) worried.

In a hard-hitting submission on the TYP, ECan chairwoman Dame Margaret Bazley said ECan was unhappy with the level of funding from the council and believed it should be contributing about $18 million a year, for the next three years.

"The absence of any significant capital expenditure to improve the operation of public transport over the next three years reinforces our view that the city council no longer seems committed to a viable future for public transport in Christchurch," Bazley said.

The lack of commitment was in complete contrast to the two councils' joint public transport strategy and the city council's own Christchurch Transport Strategic Plan, Bazley pointed out.


More info at stuff.co.nz

For some background info I suggest reading "Major flaws seen in Christchurch Metro route change proposal" by David Welch and "Campaigning against the Canterbury Regional Public Transport Plan (2012)" by Patrick Dunford.
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More bus shelters needed in Christchurch

Postby MacRiada » Wed May 15, 2013 8:35 pm

More bus shelters needed in Christchurch

Environment Canterbury (ECan) is defending its planned new bus network in Christchurch and wants the city council to put more money into it.

Since the earthquakes, bus patronage in Christchurch has dropped dramatically and ECan is losing money.

To reduce costs and get people back on the buses, it is overhauling the design of Christchurch's public transport network.

In the biggest restructuring of the network since the 1990s, it will replace the radial system, whereby nearly all services end in the city centre, with a hub and spoke network.

The network will have five core routes, four of which will travel across Christchurch via the central city. The fifth, the Orbiter, will travel around the city in a ring.

ECan was expecting the city council to support its plans by providing funding for suburban bus interchanges, but the draft Three Year Plan (TYP) released by the council includes only $21 million over three years for public transport infrastructure such as shelters and bus priority measures - not the $18m a year ECan was hoping for.

That has led ECan to question whether the city council is committed to a "viable future for public transport in Christchurch".

Addressing city councillors during the TYP hearings yesterday, ECan chairwoman Dame Margaret Bazley said Christchurch's public transport relied on the city council and the regional council working together.

"What we are proposing is to aid recovery from the earthquakes," Bazley said.

The hub and spoke model was the solution for getting public transport in Christchurch going again, and had proven to work well in other parts of New Zealand and overseas, she said.


More info and comments on stuff.co.nz
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'Trams will help New Regent St'

Postby MacRiada » Wed May 15, 2013 8:38 pm

'Trams will help New Regent St'

Business leaders are urging the Christchurch City Council to get the city's trams running as soon as possible, saying it will help boost New Regent St visitors.

Paul Lonsdale, speaking on behalf of the Central City Business Association (CCBA) at the council's draft Three Year Plan (TYP) hearings, said the tramway needed to be open again, even if on a partial route.

The route could run from Cathedral Junction past the north side of Christ Church Cathedral to the Botanic Gardens, and potentially through to Cashel St.

"There are still one million visitors that pass through the Botanic Gardens each year, plus this is the drop-off point for the cruise ship passengers also," Lonsdale said.

"It is critical that the areas that are operating in the central city have direct access to these visitors to ensure their survival, and the reinstatement of the trams would be ideal."

New Regent St in particular would benefit from the trams, he said.

"I have concerns about people visiting New Regent St long-term. I was talking to a business owner there this morning and they are worried because the initial flurry of people has died down. This tramway could really help."

The trams would "keep life in the city" and be something that defined Christchurch, Lonsdale said.

He believed the trams could be running by October.

The Tramway Historical Society, which also made a submission today, agreed the council should prioritise reopening the tramway as soon as possible, with repairs to the existing loop.

Society president Graeme Belworthy said he believed a tram line from New Regent St to the Botanic Gardens could be opened "sooner than October".

He was disappointed no funding for tram extension work was included in the TYP.

Belworthy said it would be "very feasible" to create an extension by opening the line from Worcester Blvd, along Oxford Tce and Cashel St as far as High St.

He asked the city council to "urgently investigate" the costs of completing and opening the extension.

Dave Carr, of the Heritage Tramways Trust, said the city was "so fragmented at present" that the precincts needed to be linked by trams.


More info and comments on stuff.co.nz
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The Tannery to open in June

Postby MacRiada » Fri May 17, 2013 8:35 pm

The Tannery to open in June

Work is progressing on the Tannery shopping arcade in Woolston, and the first phase will open early next month.

The arcade is being built inside a former tannery building on the banks of the Heathcote River behind The Brewery bar in Woolston.

Tannery co-owner Zac Cassels said the first phase would include a bar, delicatessen, fashion stores, a tattoo parlour and Smith's Bookshop, which used to be in Manchester St in the central city.

Cassels said the whole development should be complete by October and will have space for about 70 tenants.

A time-lapse video shows workers putting the final touches on the first phase of the development, laying a new floor and installing lighting.

The former tannery buildings date back to the 1870s and are part of Woolston's industrial history.


Read more info about this site next to the former Woolston South railway station at stuff.co.nz
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Missile smashes into Nelson bus

Postby MacRiada » Fri May 17, 2013 8:40 pm

Missile smashes into Nelson bus

A missile fired at a bus driving through Stoke went through one window and out another on the other side, showering passengers in glass.

Startled passengers initially thought it was a rock thrown but there are now suggestions it could have been a gunshot.

Nelson Bays police area commander Inspector Steve Greally said today they were investigating the attack to make sure of the facts of what had happened. They were also looking at whether it was linked to missiles being dropped from overbridges onto traffic.

In the past six weeks there has been a rock dropped from the Gracefield St bridge on to the roof of a couple's car, plant pots have been dropped off the Nayland Rd overbridge aimed at cars travelling along Whakatu Drive, and wet toilet paper was thrown at an NBus in Stoke.

The latest attack was on an NBus travelling towards Richmond on Main Rd Stoke near Stoke School at 6pm on Tuesday.

Bus passenger Debbie Mangos said about 15 passengers were on the bus and they were showered with glass.

At the time they thought a rock had been thrown, but on the bus last night she was told it could have been a gunshot, because of the force.

She said they were all shaken. "It was a bit of a shock."

Her mother Teresa Mangos said: "Imagine if someone had been hit in the head with that force. Something needs to be done about this."


Read more at stuff.co.nz
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Attempt to beat train goes badly

Postby MacRiada » Thu May 23, 2013 6:48 pm

Attempt to beat train goes badly

Vehicles ignoring alarm bells and flashing lights to beat the train at the Main St roundabout, is a daily occurrence, says Blenheim businessman Phil Brown.

Mr Brown witnessed a close shave about midday yesterday, when one of the barrier arms came down on top of a Talley's truck as it was driving through the train crossing.

The oncoming freight train's warning toots could be heard by business owners and motorists, before it ran over the buckled barrier arm, and stopped in the middle of the roundabout, he said.

''It's a daily occurrence, the problem is people don't stop for the warning lights and bells.

''They get half-way across the tracks before they realise there is not enough space for them on the other side.''

The train stopped on the level crossing, blocking State Highway 1 traffic for 10 or 15 minutes, he said.

BV Gourmet front of house manager Dave Wickens said it appeared the Talley's truck had tried to beat the barrier arm, but its path had been blocked by a slow-moving articulated lorry and trailer unit on the other side of the tracks.

Cafe staff would take bets on how many vehicles would get caught out by the barrier arms, because it happened so often, he said.

''One of these days it's not going to end well.''

A KiwiRail spokeswoman confirmed a truck had damaged the crossing barrier, and they had reported the incident to the police.

''It does tend to happen a little bit too often in Blenheim, motorists need to obey the level crossing road rules. The alarms go on well before the arms come down.''

A KiwiRail maintenance worker attached a new arm yesterday afternoon, she said.


More info at stuff.co.nz
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Re: Media Articles

Postby john-ston » Thu May 23, 2013 10:21 pm

If it wasn't for the Clifford Bay proposals, I would suggest that the Main Street roundabout railway crossing in Blenheim get grade separated.
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Re: Media Articles

Postby greenwelly » Fri May 24, 2013 9:11 am

john-ston wrote:If it wasn't for the Clifford Bay proposals, I would suggest that the Main Street roundabout railway crossing in Blenheim get grade separated.


Although it at least has barrier arms, and is flat...

Last time I looked the SH1/Broadway crossing in Picton was still without any arms, its a real zoo before and after boats, and the angles are not great either.....
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