Re Locomotives on the North Auckland Line

Save Our Rail Northland made this Official Information request to KiwiRail

Response to this request is long overdue. By law KiwiRail should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Save Our Rail Northland

Dear KiwiRail,
To KiwiRail Management Team.

We sent the following request on the 7th of March 2014 but have yet to receive a reponse .
Under the terms of the Official Information , KiwiRail is required to respond within 20 working days.
On the 5th of October 2011 Save Our Rail Northland presented a petition signed by about 13,700 people in Northland to Parliament to ask that services on the North Auckland and Dargaville Branch Lines be continued.

KiwiRail Disruption Notice
"The purpose of this update is to provide you with our proposed network and capacity plans for next week beginning 10 March."

KiwiRail's announcement ( 6th of March 2013 ) that "North Auckland Line (NAL) ALL SERVICES ARE BEING SUSPENDED " effective from the 10 th of March is extremely concerning.
Please provide information on :

how long this suspension of services is likely to continue.

2. information justifying the decision that ALL locomotives be removed from service simultaneously - as opposed to taking them out of service one by one.
3. what is happening to the freight that was to be carried by train ?
4. what losses in business revenue does KiwiRail expect to sustain in relation to this suspension of freight services in Northland ?
This enquiry is made under the terms of the Official Information Act.

Naku noa na...
Alan Preston for Save Our Rail Northland.
Copying to affected parties.

http://www.kiwirail.co.nz/news/298/78/Ki...

http://www.kiwirailfreight.co.nz/news/ki...

web-site:https://sites.google.com/site/saveourrai...

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Save Our Rail Northland left an annotation ()

Save Our Rail Northland did actually receive a response to this request ( as their 20 day deadline was about to expire )on the 4th of April 2014. It was sent to us via e-mail ( not via fyi.org.nz )

Here it is:
We are writing in response to your OIA request dated Friday 7 March 2014 relating the suspension of rail freight services to Northland in which you asked us to provide information on:

1. how long this suspension of services is likely to continue?

2. information justifying the decision that ALL locomotives be removed from service simultaneously - as opposed to taking them out of service one by one.

3. what is happening to the freight that was to be carried by train?

4. what losses in business revenue does KiwiRail expect to sustain in relation to this suspension of freight services in Northland?
The suspension will continue until we are able to re-introduce DL locomotives back into operation. It is likely that there will be a progressive reintroduction of DL locomotives over an extended period, however KiwiRail will prioritise an early resumption of rail service to Northland.

KiwiRail had to withdraw all 40 DL locomotives from operation after receiving confirmation that asbestos containing materials had been used in their construction, despite clear contractual specifications that this not happen.
The DL locomotives are the workhorse of our freight fleet and their withdrawal had an immediate significant impact on our operations.
As a result we prepared an operational plan so we can safely operate key scheduled services, and prioritise critical freight loadings.

We brought additional locomotives to the North Island from the South Island to support this effort, however, the replacement locomotives do not have the same power of the DLs and for this reason capacity was still impacted with trains needing to be smaller in weight and length.
Northland services tend to carry small volumes and the decision impacts a small customer base. In order to optimise our reduced fleet, we temporarily suspended services to and from Northland, so those locomotives can take on a fuller workload on other routes.

We have been in close liaison with customers over this event. Customers made arrangements to use road transport for critical freight. In terms forestry, customers stockpiled as much as possible with the intention of moving once rail service could be resumed. We ran a special service on the weekend of 29 and 30 March to clear goods for customers and would look to do this again should the DL locomotives remain out of operation for an extended period.

KiwiRail has sought to mitigate the impact of the withdrawal of the locomotives as much as practically possible, and with regard to Northland customers, Key customers, particularly forest owners have chosen to stockpile non critical freight until we are able to resume services. Thus final financial impact will not be known until we resume services. As we will be in commercial discussions with the locomotive suppliers, we decline under s9(2)(i) of the Official Information Act to give further detail of revenue as it may be prejudicial to those discussions.

Under s(28)3 of the Official Information Act 1982, you have the right to seek an investigation and review of this decision by way of complaint to an Ombudsman. Refer to www.ombudsman.govt.nz for more information.
Regards

Louise Jago | Communications Co-ordinator

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

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