Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby royce » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:19 pm

Am I right in thinking the Riccarton station was on the Western side of Riccarton Road. Do we know when it was removed. It kind of looks familiar but then these stations were built standard plan.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby john-ston » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:21 pm

geoff_184 wrote:The Lyttelton suburban trains stopped running after the new road tunnel saw patronage decline. Same thing would happen to the Masterton trains if a Rimutaka road tunnel were built. You take away the advantage rail offers over driving, and patronage plummets. Dunedin was similar, with the new southern motorway killing off the Mosgiel suburban trains.


The patronage only plummeted because the reaction was to cut services. Had the level of service to Lyttelton been retained, then I am not so sure that patronage would have declined so substantially. Similarly with Mosgiel, there had been service reductions for years prior to the opening of the Dunedin Southern Motorway (and for that matter, the level of service provision to Mosgiel was poor - once every two hours or so in the off-peak, and no Sunday services).
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby Daniel » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:58 pm

geoff_184 wrote:The Lyttelton suburban trains stopped running after the new road tunnel saw patronage decline. Same thing would happen to the Masterton trains if a Rimutaka road tunnel were built. You take away the advantage rail offers over driving, and patronage plummets. Dunedin was similar, with the new southern motorway killing off the Mosgiel suburban trains.
I was thinking more in the long-term where Lyttleton and points en-route might become developed to become viable sources of commuters or even destinations.
If services to/from Woolston and Ferrymead could be justified then why not all the way to Lyttleton (just like services to Swanson, etc in Auckland's west ;) )
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby dave the rave » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:08 pm

wow great snaps. The dj at Rakaia is interesting. I have not seen that one before. Looks like it could be waiting to depart with the daily goods to Methven..
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby MacRiada » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:15 pm

Found these slides from a presentation that I would have gone to if I had known about it.

One of them has some preliminary figures.

http://www.cilt.co.nz/Folder?Action=Vie ... church.pdf
http://www.cilt.co.nz/Folder?Action=Vie ... -05-12.pdf
http://www.cilt.co.nz/Folder?Action=Vie ... church.pdf
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby MacRiada » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:54 pm

dave the rave wrote:wow great snaps. The dj at Rakaia is interesting. I have not seen that one before. Looks like it could be waiting to depart with the daily goods to Methven..


Here is the last run as photographed by someone at the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway:

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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby pete » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:04 am

Again, some great photos. Exclusively four wheeled wagons. Tarpaulins. Guards van. An incredibly low powered mainline loco with a crew of two, plus the guard. And as for that TR, its like a toy.

The railways really have come a very long way indeed in 27 years.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby dave the rave » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:58 am

macriada great that the last days of the Methven line are captured so well. I grew up in chc in the 70's and while I have clear memories of city and main trunk trains,the only branch line I can remember seeing a train on was the line to Waiau. We used to go to Hanmer a lot for weekends and picnics but very rarely were lucky enough to time it right to see a train however I do remember in the late 70's stopping at Culverden and there was a goods train at the station. Mum and dad let me go and have a look..not much left at Culverden today - you wouldn't even know the railway ever went through..
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby geoff_184 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:28 pm

I never saw a train at Culverden, but I do recall us driving over the tracks there in 1983, with "Alarms Not Working" signs over the crossing alarms, and IIRC tracks being lifted in the yard. Think the line had been closed for several years already, but the tracks were still there until '83.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby royce » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:42 pm

In the mid seventies the publican at the Waiau pub used to coop the help of the local drinkers to unload the weekly beer wagon. On one occasion it was reported there was not one crate that didn't have a broken bottle in it.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby dave the rave » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:46 pm

that's right. It closed in 1978 however the rail unions at the time had had enough of branch line closures and put a veto on lifting of the track and removal of buildings and structures on the line.The weeds took over and the alarms at the 3 protected level crossings were covered in orange tarpaulins with "alarms not working" signs attached. For many years motorists still slowed at the "ghost" rail crossings even though trains had ceased years before. Eventually the unions gave up as the line itself fell into dis-repair and it was clear there really was no traffic available. The line only served half a dozen rural communities. The forestry operation at Balmoral approximately half way along the line was the main source of traffic in the latter years of the lines operation. Had it not been for the timber, it probably would have closed years earlier.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby kos » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:34 pm

The death of those high sider wagons (LC,s LA,s) is a tragedy in that their function was never replaced.
A lot of freight those wagons just moved to truck.

Even today I shudder when a loaded B double of scrap metal passes me on the highway.
That's just one example of lost railway traffic.

I can still remember in the 90, s the odd Lc being loaded at Huntly with scrap metal I guess for Simms at Otahuhu.
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60k limit

Postby dave the rave » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:01 am

I know it would never be permitted in today's "freedom of choice" society but I think the 60km road haul limit that existed up until the 1970's was one of the most sensible, logical,economical and environmentally advanced systems that existed. It should never have been scrapped. No good has come from encouraging freight to move by truck on roads that run parallel to rail.
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Re: 60k limit

Postby Hamish O » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:20 am

dave the rave wrote:I know it would never be permitted in today's "freedom of choice" society but I think the 60km road haul limit that existed up until the 1970's was one of the most sensible, logical,economical and environmentally advanced systems that existed. It should never have been scrapped. No good has come from encouraging freight to move by truck on roads that run parallel to rail.

I completely disagree. If you wanted to make rail a better option you would subsidise it more and road less. A speed limit will impact on everyone, even if they are transporting goods that would not practically be able to be moved by rail, or were car drivers just trying to get around. It would mean that our existing roads would become even less well utilised, and they would also be less safe due to the greater discrepancy between the speed of trucks and car drivers. If it's about the environment attack the problem directly, through carbon/pollutant taxation (built into RUCs) - that way not all the social welfare would be lost like in your scheme, as some of it would appear as government revenue, and it would target those polluting the most.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby pete » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:50 am

The 60km limit related to the distance freight could be trucked, not the speed at which the trucks travelled.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby Hamish O » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:53 am

pete wrote:The 60km limit related to the distance freight could be trucked, not the speed at which the trucks travelled.

Either way, most of my points still apply, although that does make more sense..
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby pete » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:56 am

Agree. I never thought the 60km limit was a good strategy, as it lead to a lot of inefficiencies. The current strategy is, I believe, preferable. Let KR compete operationally on sound business principle, but give it the capital to enable a reasonably level playing field. The 10 year turnaround plan may not be perfect, but its a great start.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby royce » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:36 am

kos wrote:The death of those high sider wagons (LC,s LA,s) is a tragedy in that their function was never replaced.
A lot of freight those wagons just moved to truck.

Even today I shudder when a loaded B double of scrap metal passes me on the highway.
That's just one example of lost railway traffic.

I can still remember in the 90, s the odd Lc being loaded at Huntly with scrap metal I guess for Simms at Otahuhu

The steel could be removed out of a wagon with a crane and a magnet. But then why not use a container. Except I think the railways wern't to worried about having old wagons sitting around waiting to be filled.
However powders needed to be dug out by hand or with a digger.
I have often wondered if you could have a side dumping wagon which could tip its contents into a bucket of a front end loader. Seems to me that it would be easier to set this up with a four wheel wagon than a longer bogie type. It could have two or three flaps six foot long along the side of the wagon which could be opened to allow the material to flow out in a controlled manner. I am thinking it would require a jack on the side of the wagon which would extend down to the track to stop the wagon overbalancing. Also ethier hydraulics or pneumatics to power the rams and the jacks.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby Islander » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:14 pm

royce wrote:
kos wrote:The death of those high sider wagons (LC,s LA,s) is a tragedy in that their function was never replaced.
A lot of freight those wagons just moved to truck.

Even today I shudder when a loaded B double of scrap metal passes me on the highway.
That's just one example of lost railway traffic.

I can still remember in the 90, s the odd Lc being loaded at Huntly with scrap metal I guess for Simms at Otahuhu

The steel could be removed out of a wagon with a crane and a magnet. But then why not use a container. Except I think the railways wern't to worried about having old wagons sitting around waiting to be filled.
However powders needed to be dug out by hand or with a digger.
I have often wondered if you could have a side dumping wagon which could tip its contents into a bucket of a front end loader. Seems to me that it would be easier to set this up with a four wheel wagon than a longer bogie type. It could have two or three flaps six foot long along the side of the wagon which could be opened to allow the material to flow out in a controlled manner. I am thinking it would require a jack on the side of the wagon which would extend down to the track to stop the wagon overbalancing. Also ethier hydraulics or pneumatics to power the rams and the jacks.


The other method is to use a hopper type of wagon where the hopper is lifted clear of the wagon by a crane and the contents released when above the receiving bin/hold etc. This system was used at Denniston where coal loaded at the top of the incline was railed to Westport wharf and dumped directly into ship holds.
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Re: Would a commuter railcar service work in chch?

Postby royce » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:17 pm

Islander wrote:The other method is to use a hopper type of wagon where the hopper is lifted clear of the wagon by a crane and the contents released when above the receiving bin/hold etc. This system was used at Denniston where coal loaded at the top of the incline was railed to Westport wharf and dumped directly into ship holds.

Yes it would be simpler but a front end loader which can handle 2 or 3 tonnes comes a lot cheaper than a crane which can lift 15 tonnes.
I was thinking two wagons would fill a truck and trailer to 30 tonnes. Better payload than using containers.
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