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20160711 Official Information Request

20160711 To KiwiRail from Save Our Rail Northland:

https://fyi.org.nz/request/4241-20160711-to-kiwirail-from-save-our-rail-northland-official-information-act-request-for-update-on-the-status-quo-on-the-north-auckland-lineOfficial Information Act Request for update on the status quo on the North Auckland Line

Kia ora.

Could you please provide us with an update of the current status quo on the North Auckland Line.

The following request for information is made under the auspices of the Official Information Act - which requires that the information requested be provided ' as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received'.

The information we are requesting will be made available to the public, candidates in the 2016 Local Government Elections and media on the Save Our Rail Northland web-site

From: Louise Jago
KiwiRail

August 08, 2016

Dear Mr Preston
We are writing in response to your Official Information Act 1982 request
dated 13 July 2016 requesting information on the status of the North
Auckland Line. Your questions and KiwiRail’s responses are outlined below:

“What sections of the North Auckland Line are currently being used? 

Currently freight services are running on all sections of the North
Auckland Line (NAL). However, from late August freight services will cease
operating on the section of the Line between Otiria and Kauri.

Please provide a detailed breakdown of information about each train using
the North Auckland Line:

Four DC – Diesel electric - class locomotives use the NAL. 

Two services run on the NAL from Monday – Friday:

·         The 126 service departs from Auckland at 09:30am and arrives at
Whangarei at 16:15pm.

·         The 129 service departs from Whangarei at 18:40pm and arrives at
Auckland at 00:25am.

A third service runs as required from Monday – Friday, but is dependent on
demand:

·         The 125 service departs from Whangarei at 07:05am and arrives at
Auckland at 13:51pm.

In addition the following services run on the NAL:

·         The 124 service runs between Monday and Thursday.  It departs
from Auckland at 20:30pm and arrives at Whangarei at 03:23am.

·         The 120 service runs on Sundays only. It departs from Auckland
at 19:00pm and arrives at Whangarei at 00:21am.

 

In September, the two Auckland to Whangarei services (126 & 124) will
amalgamate into a single service and the two Whangarei to Auckland
services (125 & 129) will also merge into a single service. However, the
total capacity carried on the line will not change. 

 

What is the locomotive power being used to pull this train?

The output power of DC Locomotives is 1230kW.

 

Is this a regular (scheduled) service?

Please see above.

 

How frequently does this train run?

Please see above.

 

How many carriages is it pulling?

KiwiRail does not hold information on the number of wagons each service
carries as the number varies according to demand. However, between 20 and
23 wagons can run on each service, if fully loaded.

 

What is the approximate tonnage being transported?

199,195 tonnes of customer freight was carried on the NAL in financial
year ended June 30 2016.

 

What is the tonnage comprised of?

The majority of tonnage transported on the NAL is comprised of forestry
and dairy commodities including: logs, wood chips and butter exports.

 

Is this a dedicated service - to a contracted customer?

No. Services on the NAL are for all customers.

 

What is this train's point of departure - destination?

Please see above.

 

What time of day / week is this train in operation?

Please see above.

 

What is the distance travelled?

The distance between Whangarei to Auckland is 212km.

 

How long does this trip take?

A one way trip to Whangarei from Auckland takes six hours.

 

What is the average / maximum speed that this train travels at?

The average speed that each train travels on the NAL at is 50kmph.

 

What is the likely future of freight services on the North Auckland Line?

At present there is little demand for freight services on the NAL. If, in
the future, the demand for freight services is present in commercial
quantities and customers are prepared to pay commercial rates, KiwiRail
will carry that freight. The line north of Kauri will remain open so that
it may be used again if and when it becomes economic to do so.

Has KiwiRail received inquiries / requests from other businesses to
transport their freight?

Yes. KiwiRail has received inquiries from businesses that wish to use the
NAL line to transport their freight. To date, it has been uneconomic for
KiwiRail to carry the freight volumes discussed with potential clients as
they are not of a commercial quantity.

 

What other companies / organisations have requested that KiwiRail
transport their freight?

This information is commercially sensitive and has been withheld under
sections(2)(b)(i) of the Act.

Has there been any undue political influence in the decision for KiwiRail
to not renew its contract with Marasumi?

No. This is an operational matter for KiwiRail.

 

Is KiwiRail making any long term plans that take into consideration the
completion of the proposed connection with [1]Northport ?

KiwiRail has an open mind on the prospect of rail connections to Marsden
Point, and supports the retention of the designation. However, any
decision to establish the link to Marsden Port and to rebuild the North
Auckland Line for an export business would need to be determined by wider
decisions regarding future port strategies in the Upper North Island.

 

Where can the public read KiwiRail's investigation into this potential
opportunity?

Please see above.

 

Does KiwiRail have any plans to extend passenger services along any
section of the North Auckland Line (beyond the extent to which they
currently travel)?

KiwiRail has no plans to provide a long distance passenger service on the
NAL that links Whangarei to Auckland. KiwiRail does not hold any
information that suggests Auckland Transport have any immediate plans to
extend their commuter services beyond the current terminus at Swanson. For
further information on commuter services please contact Auckland
Transport.

 

Is KiwiRail interested in developing passenger rail services along the
North Auckland Line - for commuters, inter-city travellers and domestic
and international tourists?

KiwiRail has no current plans to operate commuter services on the NAL as
Auckland Transport is responsible for the provision of commuter services
on the line as far as Swanson. KiwiRail will consider opening a new
passenger services on the NAL for tourists if, in the future, the
forecasted demand and/or tourism growth is present in commercial
quantities.

 

Does KiwiRail still own the rail corridor between Otiria and Kawakawa?

Yes.

 

Does KiwiRail have any plans to rebuild the rail connection between Otiria
and Kawakawa?

In the absence of any commercial freight KiwiRail has no plans to upgrade
the Line between Otiria and Kawakawa.

 

What is the status with regard to removal of asbestos from drivers'
compartments of the trains on the North Auckland Line?

The matter of asbestos removal only applies to drivers' compartments in DL
class locomotives which do not run on the NAL.

 

What significant repairs or improvements are presently being carried out
on the North Auckland Line?

No repairs or upgrades are currently being undertaken on the NAL but the
line is being maintained to a level that allows freight to be transported
safely.

What significant repairs or improvements have recently (in the last year)
been carried out on the North Auckland Line?

During the last financial year a number of maintenance activities were
completed on the NAL: four track sites and three bridges were
re-sleepered, three sites had new ballast discharged and one location was
re-railed.

What significant repairs or improvements need to be carried out on the
North Auckland Line in the near future?

In the future, structural bridge works will be completed in a number of
locations along the NAL.

 

What significant repairs or improvements need to be carried out on the
North Auckland Line in the long term future to enable it to carry HiCube
containers and passenger wagons?

To carry HiCube containers on the NAL would require significant investment
to lower the Line’s tunnels. KiwiRail initially estimates that upgrades
would require an investment of $40 –$60million, this figure is based on
similar work undertaken on other Lines.

 

What costs are likely to be associated with each of these maintenance/
repair jobs?

How long are these jobs likely to take to complete?

Please see above.

What is the makeup of maintenance crews operating along the North Auckland
Line?

The following maintenance crews operate on the NAL:

·         2 track staff at Helensville

·         2 track staff at Maungaturoto

·         4 track staff at Whangarei

·         4 structures staff at Whangarei

·         1 signals staff at Whangarei

·         1 Track Inspector

·         1 Structures Inspector

 

Has any part of the infrastructure on the North Auckland Line been
removed?

No infrastructure has been removed from the NAL.

Is there any plan to remove any part of the infrastructure within the rail
corridor - or to relinquish ownership of any part of the rail corridor?

No.

As a State Owned Enterprise, considering its inherent responsibilities to
the people of New Zealand : -

 

-is KiwiRail aware of or made any study to quantify the social and
economic impact of discontinuation of KiwiRail's operations along the
North Auckland Line?  (See our [2]Social Impact Assessment )

KiwiRail has not undertaken and is not aware of any detailed analysis in
the discontinuation of freight operations on the NAL.

 

-is KiwiRail aware of or made any study to quantify the effect on
Northland's long term strategic robustness and resilience that the
discontinuation of the North Auckland Line would have in the event that
fossil fuel becomes unaffordable or supplies become limited  ( see [3]Oil
Prices and Transport Sector Resilience )

Please see above

 

-is KiwiRail aware of or made any study to quantify the costs of
transitioning freight from rail to road transport? 

Please see above

 

What are those costs?

Please see above

 

-is KiwiRail aware of or made any study to quantify the differential in
diesel fuel consumption - and associated green-house gases that will be
emitted if freight currently being transported by KiwiRail's trains has to
be transported by road-haulage contractors ?  (see: [4]The Bolland Report
)

Please see above

 

Is KiwiRail required to consider the effects of its greenhouse gas
emissions in its planning model? ”

KiwiRail considers social, environmental and economic factors as part of
its standard decision making practices.

 

Under s28(3) of the Act, you have the right to seek an investigation and
review of this response by way of complaint to the Ombudsman.  Refer to
[5]www.ombudsman.govt.nz for more information.

 

Regards

Louise

 

Louise Jago | Communications Co-ordinator

Ph: +64-4-498 3372 (internal extn 43372) | Fax: +64-4-473 1589 | Mob:
+64-027 407 1718
Level 4, Wellington Railway Station, Bunny Street, Wellington 6011 | PO
Box 593, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

[6]Description: KiwiRail Logo email

Backbone of integrated transport networks

 

Please consider the environment before printing

 

From: Louise Jago
Sent: Wednesday, 13 July 2016 11:47 a.m.
To: '[FOI #4241 email]'
Subject: RE: Official Information request - 20160711 To KiwiRail from Save
Our Rail Northland: Official Information Act Request for update on the
status quo on the North Auckland Line

 

Good morning Alan

 

We acknowledge receipt of the below Official Information Act 1982 request.

 

Under the Act, KiwiRail has up to 20 working days from the date of
receiving your request to respond.  Therefore, you can expect a response
on or before Monday 8 August 2016.

 

We note that you have also submitted this request under the Save Our Rail
Northland email address which we acknowledged earlier today.  To avoid any
doubt, we intend to provide the same response to both email addresses.  

 

We will be in touch with you if it is necessary to clarify any aspect of
your request.

 

Kind regards

Louise

 

Louise Jago | Communications Co-ordinator

Ph: +64-4-498 3372 (internal extn 43372) | Fax: +64-4-473 1589 | Mob:
+64-027 407 1718
Level 4, Wellington Railway Station, Bunny Street, Wellington 6011 | PO
Box 593, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

[7]Description: Description: KiwiRail Logo email

Backbone of integrated transport networks

Please consider the environment before printing

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Save Our Rail Northland please sign in and let everyone know.

Things to do with this request

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A prompt response to this enquiry would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Naku noa na...

Alan Preston for Save Our Rail Northland ( and the 13,700 people who signed our petition to keep this strategically essential component in Northland's transport infrastructure  operational. )
11th of July 2016

============================================================
contact Alan Preston in Mangawhai, Northland ( web-site)  Tel: +64 9 4315389 .
e-mail  @ e-mail:saveourrailnorthland@gmail.com
web-site:https://sites.google.com/site/saveourrailnorthland/home
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