Squeeze on KiwiRail services

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Both TVNZ and the NZ Herald report that KiwiRail is under pressure to mothball the Napier – Gisborne line, and the northern portion of the Wairarapa line (Masterton – Woodville).

Inland port for Waikato

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First Wiri, now Hamilton – The Waikato Times reports local iwi Tainui are planning an inland port, served by both rail and road connections:

A port operator has yet to be tapped on the shoulder, but TGH has had discussions with Transit New Zealand and KiwiRail, says chief executive Mike Pohio.

This is good news for Hamilton, and motorists in the Auckland / Waikato / Bay of Plenty regions. Inland ports, served by container trains, take numerous truck movements off the roads, decreasing the environmental impact of transport and extending the life of the road.

Ports of Auckland starts Wiri rail freight service

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The National Business Review reports Ports of Auckland have begun their new rail service to the inland port at Wiri, taking numerous trucks off the motorway between the port and south Auckland. Some great statistics:

The rail link will reduce the number of trucks on Auckland’s busy roads, with forecasts that it will save up to 2.5 million truck kilometres per year – equal to 100,000 central city truck trips.

End of the line for Stratford to Okahukura rail link

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Taranaki Daily News reports:

Kiwirail is poised to announce that the Stratford to Okahukura line, which has been closed since being damaged by a derailment in November last year, will not be reopened.

On track to Napier – Gisborne

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After the bad news on the mothballing of Stratford to Okahukura line, here’s some good news from KiwiRail on the Napier – Gisborne line.

Port close to home

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Manukau Courier reports the new Wiri inland port is to start operating in January 2010. The port’s new rail exchange (pictured above) is progressing with two of the three rail siding tracks that will connect the inland port to the Ports of Auckland container facility on the Waitemata harbour. Ports of Auckland managing director Jens Madsen says the first train is expected to arrive early in the New Year:

“This is about bringing the seaport right to the doorstep of businesses in south Auckland.

“Exporters and importers will be able to drop off and pick up containers without having to negotiate the Auckland motorways.”

Once fully operational, the inland port will save as many as 100,000 central city truck trips each year.

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