All aboard for the socialist utopia

via Kiwirail

This is where socialists always go wrong, they think they know best how to run a business?in this case a clapped out, narrow-gauge dinosaur of a business that has had its best days and even then it never made any money. Quote.

Newly released documents show the government forced KiwiRail to backtrack on its decision to ditch the electric locomotives on the North Island’s main trunk line.

According to the Treasury, it’s the first time a state-owned enterprise has been directed by a minister to make a decision that didn’t stack up commercially.

End quote.

Just in case anyone missed the subtle, nuanced, inference in the preceding paragraph, let’s spell it out.

Twyford insisted that a state-owned enterprise needlessly waste our taxpayer dollars. Quote.

Read more »

Freight to Lyttlelton, passengers to Nelson

After the main communications infrastructure of roads, bridges and the rail corridor were devastated by the?earthquake ?it is pretty clear that the region is going to take a big hit in terms of tourist travel and freight.

So it seems sensible that freight will be sent to Lyttleton and passengers to Nelson. Winston Peters has some helpful thoughts on the matter.

The government should be moving quickly to look into the feasibility of Cook Strait ferries being deployed to sail between Lyttelton and suitable North Island ports.

“This is crucial as the supply lines through to Christchurch are likely to be cut for some time,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters. ? Read more »

Budget continues Steve Joyce’s corporate welfare regime

It is hard to get away form the impression that today’s budget was more about corporate welfare than anything else.

ACT’s press release says:

Funding for $761 million in corporate welfare via ‘Innovative New Zealand’ is an insult to taxpayers, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Bill English needs to ?just say no? to Steven Joyce?s corporate welfare addiction,” says Mr Seymour.

“There is no public appetite for hand-outs to businesses. There is no pressure from the opposition or the media. So who?s been pouring poison into Steven Joyce?s ear?

“The Government could have simply used these funds to drop the company tax rate. This would help all New Zealand businesses ? not just those that are politically trendy.

“This spending comes on top of the Government’s existing $1.3 billion annual corporate welfare spend.”

Read more »

KiwiRail bails, Northland needs 150-200 more truckies, and this is bad why?

KiwiRail isn’t making any money…and so bails from an unprofitable line. So far so good.

KiwiRail is mothballing a Northland train line and locals fear the decision will force an extra 150 logging trucks onto the region’s roads to cope with the added freight demands.

Following enquiries about a leaked email seen by the Herald, a KiwiRail spokesperson this afternoon admitted the contract with the only freight customer on the Otiria to Portland line expires at the end of August and is not going to be renewed. This will render the track useless but the line would remain open.

“KiwiRail is not closing its North Auckland line.”

The leaked email from a KiwiRail manager said woodchip company Marusumi would instead build a roadway for its trucks.

Transport minister Simon Bridges said the Government has no intention on shutting any lines but there was little or no demand on the line at the moment.

“In that sense, we can understand KiwiRail’s perspective where they are seeking to run a commercial business.”

Read more »


CRL and rail costs blowout

Surprise surprise!

The rail network for Auckland is already experiencing massive cost blow outs as KiwiRail fesses up that its existing network needs more cash from the public purse.

Auckland’s rail network could require a further $1.4 billion in upgrades – on top of the $2.5b to be spent on the City Rail Link – for it to hit maximum potential.

State-owned enterprise KiwiRail has told Auckland Council the city’s existing rail network needs costly upgrades – some described as urgent four months ago.

But while the CRL gained momentum with Prime Minister John Key announcing the Government will make provisions for work to start two years earlier than planned, councillor George Wood says he’s worried about a lack of progress in KiwiRail’s concerns being addressed.

Wood believes those concerns strike at the heart of the CRL’s efficiency and the promise Auckland will have a state-of-the-art rail network by 2023. ? Read more »

Another reason rail is on the way out

The lunatics, mostly of the left, want us to all use trains.

Trains for passenger transport and trains for bulk transport.

Well,?one of the links in that transport debate is about to be severed,?which will further reduce the amount of freight sent by rail.

Kiwirail says its ship, the Aratere, may be the last such rail-compatible ferry it runs.

The sight of a train rolling onto a ferry has long been a dramatic sight for onlookers, as the train’s heavy weight can cause the ship to move substantially in the water.

But Kiwirail chief executive Peter Reidy said acquiring rail-enabled ferry technology was very expensive. ? Read more »

KiwiRail axes 300 jobs due to lack of demand. So, tell me again, why are we building more rail?

KiwiRail is a dog; it was when Michael Cullen paid damn near a billion dollars for a clapped-out rail company. Toll Holdings still have parties to celebrate the day they hoodwinked Labour into paying five times what the thing was worth.

Since then, billions more have been ploughed into the bottomless-pit that is rail.

Now jobs are being axed.

Huge job losses are on the horizon for KiwiRail this year, with 300 positions on the chopping block.

It’s part of the state-owned rail operator’s drive to cut costs and break even ahead of the Government’s final cash injection this coming financial year.

Chief executive Peter Reidy casually revealed the move today when he appeared before MPs at a select committee at Parliament.

“Two years ago we had 4200 staff, this year we will probably have 3700, we’ll get down to 3400,” he said.

It’ll mean 800 jobs would have been cut over a two-year period. ? Read more »


Auckland Transport: We didn’t block KiwiRail, we just want $600,000

Auckland Transport denies forcing KiwiRail’s long-distance passenger trains out of Britomart to a desolate station more than a kilometre away, but acknowledges it needed $600,000 to let them stay.

An Auckland Council member on the transport organisation’s board, Mike Lee, says he has heard on good authority from KiwiRail that it was told to pay for an upgrade of ventilation and related equipment at the underground station – or get out.

“I have been told by a highly placed person in KiwiRail that KiwiRail was asked by Auckland Transport to pay $600,000 for the overhaul of the Britomart fans,” he said. Mr Lee was referring to extraction equipment installed for Britomart’s opening in 2003, for Auckland’s diesel-fuelled urban passenger trains, which were replaced in July by a wholly electric fleet.

An Auckland Transport spokesman said KiwiRail was offered the chance to keep running its Northern Explorer diesel passenger trains from Britomart, on its thrice-weekly service to Wellington, before the Government operator decided to remove them to the previously disused surface station off The Strand – at its rail junction beneath Parnell Rise. Read more »

New train service: Wellington to nearly at Auckland

Step 1: Make a train station Step 2: Tell people public transport is great ?Step 3: Forbid train from using station.

Long distance trains from Wellington to Auckland will stop about a kilometre short of the Britomart underground station from December 21.

KiwiRail has confirmed setting up a terminal for its Northern Explorer trains at the largely disused Strand surface railway station, from where commuters used to have to trundle before Britomart opened in 2003.

That is upsetting the Public Transport Users’ Association, which says the industrialised environment of the Strand will not be “a good look for tourists and their first impression of Auckland.”

The Government rail company’s head of customer engagement and scenic journeys, Gavin Rutherford, said this afternoon it was making the move before major changes to Britomart for Auckland’s $2.5 billion underground rail extension. ?? Read more »

Hmmm, let me think…how does NO sound?

Kiwirail is already heavily taxpayer subsidised, and they still can?t attract customers.

The state transport company KiwiRail has made an impassioned plea for support from the government and public.

They told reporters at the unveiling of their annual report that without their company, New Zealand’s roads would be hopelessly clogged with large trucks – which would be politically unacceptable.

Their comments came as the annual report gave details of an earlier unveiled bottom line loss of almost $167 million.

It made up the difference with government money. But in the year to June, KiwiRail still made an operational profit on day-to-day operations of $91m.

The loss came from the cost of maintaining the company’s 4,000 kilometres of track, 1500 bridges and 150 tunnels.

Last year the government paid Kiwirail $198m. ?? Read more »