KiwiRail gets early Christmas present
Fri, 10 Dec 2010 6:10p.m.
By Adam Ray
It's been a long time since the railways had something to hoot about, and for Prime Minister John Key it was like an early Christmas present.
“Well every boy likes being in a train don't they?” he says.
Kiwirail's getting 20 shiny new DL locomotives.
They're faster, more reliable and more fuel efficient than the current fleet which dates back to the 1970s and even earlier.
“So there's a whole lot of things about bringing rail into the modern time, you wouldn't be running a trucking firm with 1976 Bedfords,” says KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn.
And old Bedfords don't have microwaves for their drivers.
“You can't compare them because this is modern technology we still drive the old ones but these are top of the line,” says train driver Ken Collins.
They're built by China North Railways, which makes 1000 trains a year.
Our 20 might seem a small order, but it's a big deal.
“This locomotive is first time for CNR or China to export to a developed country,” says It may not be the last order from here. Kiwirail wants to spend $4 billion over the next decade, but its owner - the Government - believes the company has an uphill struggle to survive.
This is a challenge. I've seen some challenges commercially in my time in the business sector but this is a biggie,” says Transport Minister Steven Joyce.
Kiwirail's success depends on it being more competitive with road transport so the performance of these new trains is vital to its future.
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14/12/2010 8:52:25 p.m.
The decision to buy those engines were purely a political decision and not in the interest of New Zealand. I am disappointed to see our government is selling us that cheap. The government did not think how it was wasting the borrowed and tax payers’ money by buying those junk engines which are going to fall apart sooner than later and create huge repair bills. Those engines are good for Africa, but no worries we are fast on that road.
14/12/2010 3:26:56 a.m.
Are we that poor and needy that for the delivery of a handful of engines the Prime Minister and some of his ministers have to be present? John Key has behaved as if we were having rails for the first time ever. Where on earth except in a poor country can you see that? What a shame.
Besides, wait till a year or so when the mechanical troubles begin and the repair bills start to pile up. That is the time when we regret not buying from a firm with long, proven history. In addition, we as a so called developed country have been a good advertiser for the manufacturer who have made their first ever export to a poor developed country. They even got a free advertisement. Good on you John, you are gonna be on their web site.
14/12/2010 3:26:47 a.m.
14/12/2010 3:26:41 a.m.
11/12/2010 9:28:45 a.m.
Warren Matthews wrote:
/Sarcasm. This is great I really like how public ownership has been instigated just in time to make all this financial outlay. Socialise debt, privatise profits much?
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