Wednesday, 09 August 2017 08:54

Final link welded in Main North Line rebuild

KiwiRail has linked up the track between Picton and Christchurch for the first time since November’s Kaikoura earthquake devastated the line, Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced today. “Staff held a small ceremony near Rakautara, north of Kaikoura this morning, and completed the final weld,” Mr Bridges says. “This is an important milestone in getting the line open again, and in easing the pressure on upper South Island roads.” Teams from around the country have been working to replace twisted track, rebuild bridges, repair tunnels, and clear enormous slips along the route in order to get freight moving again on rail…
On Wednesday, the council’s Finance Committee is being asked to give urgent funding approval to purchase 17 new battery powered trains, or Independently Powered Electric Multiple Units (IPEMUs) as they’re referred to officially. The council paper and the full business case notes that the urgency is because a deposit needs to be made by September this year to ensure delivery of these new trains in 2019 which is when the capacity constraints really start to bite. Given how plainly obvious this issue has been for some considerable time, it’s a bit absurd that it now needs to be made so…
At two minutes after midnight on May 12th, the hyperloop became a little bit less of a pipe dream and little bit more of a reality. On that day, the Los Angeles-based startup Hyperloop One conducted the first full-system test of its technology in the desert north of Las Vegas. As several dozen of the company’s engineers and executives watched an array of monitors nervously, a metal sled accelerated to 70 mph (112 km/h), achieved levitation, and flew about 500 feet (152 meters) down the length of a 1,600-foot (487-meter) steel tube that had most of the air sucked out…
If you were in either San Francisco or LA, and wanted to arrive in the other city first thing in the morning, you'd have to catch quite an early flight. It could potentially leave you feeling groggy for the rest of the day. Well, Cabin offers a less costly and potentially more restful alternative. Its sleeping-cabin-equipped buses run between the two cities, leaving from one at 11pm and arriving at the other by 7am the next day. The service began life as the SleepBus pilot project, which was initiated by entrepreneur Tom Currier. Following its success, Cabin was born. Each…
KiwiRail’s efforts to keep freight moving around New Zealand following the Kaikoura earthquake saw it take home an Australasian Rail Industry Award in Sydney last night. KiwiRail won the Freight Rail Excellence category in recognition of its response to the November 2016 earthquake, which severely damaged New Zealand’s road and rail networks in the upper South Island. “In the earthquake’s immediate aftermath up to 50% of rail freight moved to road and coastal shipping,” says KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy. “The earthquake was an unprecedented event and its impact on the national supply chain has been significant. It challenged us…
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 09:07

Connecting cities: it’s a matter of scale

New Zealand is a long way from the rest of the world. It takes three to four hours to fly from Auckland to the big eastern Australian cities; over half a day to reach the US West Coast or Southeast Asia; and most of a day to reach Europe. Our geographic isolation has advantages – for instance, it’s easier to manage biosecurity controls to protect our local environment and agricultural exports – but also many economic costs. As the gravity model of trade predicts, countries that are further away from each other tend to trade less. In other words, our…
The Ministry of Transport and BusinessNZ are partnering to commission a study into how New Zealand’s economy can benefit from transport innovation, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says. “The potential of self-driving cars and their associated economic opportunities are often the focus of research and investment, but there are many other aspects of the transport system which present economic opportunities,” Mr Bridges says. “I want to see businesses positioned to flourish in New Zealand as intelligent transport systems (ITS) are commercialised.” The study will be overseen by an advisory group, which will meet for the first time today, chaired by Dr…
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 15:17

Hiab expands product range

Materials handling specialist, Hiab Australia, has launched three new cranes as well as a new Moffett M4NX truck-mounted forklift. The new X-HiPro 232 sat at the Hiab stand alongside two other new X-HiPro mid-range cranes, the smaller X-HiPro 162 with a 15.1m extension and the series' big brother, the X-HiPro 302, which boasts a full outreach of 21m. The new Hiab T160, a stiff-boom crane that is classed as a 15.5tm crane with a maximum lift capacity of 6500Kg is an integrated hoist that lifts straight up rather than in an arc, making it ideal for precision lifting over walls…
Monday, 12 June 2017 11:01

Manawatu Gorge remains closed

he NZ Transport Agency has confirmed that SH3 through the Manawatu Gorge will remain closed as work continues to ensure the safety of the route. Transport Agency Highway Manager Ross I’Anson says work is continuing at the two recent slip sites to ensure that the route will be safe for people to use when the gorge is re-opened, including the installation of additional rock fall netting at both slip sites, and the Transport Agency will re-open the road as soon as it is safe to do so. “We understand that this lengthy closure and the uncertainty around re-opening is frustrating…
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says Auckland’s Waterview Tunnel will open to traffic in early July, marking the biggest milestone in the city’s transport network in more than half a century. The $1.4 billion Waterview Connection is New Zealand’s biggest and most complex roading project, including twin 2.4km-long three-lane tunnels. “Once open, it will transform the way people and freight move around Auckland, and will represent the biggest change in travel patterns since the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1959,” Mr Bridges says. A ceremonial opening on Sunday, 18 June will be followed by public open day’s to allow…
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says a new lane along a section of Auckland’s Southern Motorway will help ease bottlenecks and improve journeys for thousands of motorists. The additional southbound lane has now been opened to traffic between Hill Road and the Takanini interchange, and between the Takanini southbound on-ramp to the Pahurehure Inlet as part of the Southern Corridor Improvements project. “The $268 million project is one of the Government’s accelerated transport projects for the Auckland region and will add extra lanes in both directions as well as upgrading the Takanini Interchange,” Mr Bridges says. “The Southern Corridor connects Auckland…
Transport and logistics company, Mainfreight, has ranked at number eight on the New Zealand Annual Corporate Reputation Index, an annual listing produced by research consultancy, AMR. The Index measures how New Zealanders view the nation’s top 25 companies across seven reputation drivers, and then ranks them according to people’s overall emotional reaction using more than 6,000 ratings. The 25 companies included in the New Zealand Reputation Index are sourced from the Deloitte Top 200 list, which ranks companies by revenue. "It is a great achievement for Mainfreight to be listed in the top 10 of the AMR NZ Annual Corporate…
Transport Minister Simon Bridges has today announced appointments and reappointments to the Boards of Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Mr Bridges has reappointed Peter Cowper to the Board of MNZ. He has been a member since May 2011. “Mr Cowper’s reappointment will provide Board continuity, as he continues to contribute his extensive commercial and leadership skills,” Mr Bridges says. MNZ is a Crown entity whose primary function is to ensure the safety, security and environmental protection of New Zealand’s coastal and inland waterways. Its Board has five members. Mr…
Much of the buzz around potential Hyperloop systems of late has centered on how they might first make tracks in countries outside the US, but for its latest announcement, startup Hyperloop One is looking much closer to home. The LA-based company has today outlined 11 potential routes for Hyperloop routes in the US that it says would massively reduce transport and cargo time through the nation's more heavily used passages. Hyperloop One is just one of the transport companies vying make the futuristic transport system a reality. First described in an Elon Musk white paper in 2013, the Hyperloop would…
Simon Furness, founder of online tyre fitting company Hyper Drive has taken a product that is traditionally not an internet product and turned it in to one proving convenience is what is important to consumers. With online tyre sales surging over 300% compared to this time last year consumers are liking the fact that they can shop from the comfort of their keyboard. “Online tyre retailing enables consumers to compare products online and still get it fitted locally” Furness comments. “From research we have done consumers don’t want to have to ring around trying to get prices on tyres, or…
With a few different players now in the game, the race is on to win over governments and get the once seemingly far-fetched Hyperloop up and running. For LA-based startup Hyperloop One, that means rolling into Dubai with photos of its full-scale test track and a few renderings of what the first Middle Eastern Hyperloop terminals might look like. Hyperloop One has been busy planting its fingers in different continental pies, with a view to one day using its ultra-fast transport system to move passengers all around the world. This has included agreements with governments in Russia, Finland and Dubai…
Monday, 27 February 2017 07:53

LINZ improving shipping safety

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has developed a world leading tool for improving shipping safety in New Zealand, says Minister for Land Information Mark Mitchell. “The Hydrographic Risk Assessment uses the latest technology to identify risks and help update navigation information,” Mr Mitchell says. The tool combines data from a variety of sources to produce heat maps of New Zealand waters where risks are highest, ensuring updates are given where they are needed most. “It is important New Zealanders are kept safe at sea, and the Risk Assessment will help ensure skippers have access to the latest and most accurate…
The Terms of Reference for the Fuel market Financial Performance Study Energy have been released today, says Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins. The Study, being undertaken by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, will take an in depth look at fuel company finances to determine if the price New Zealanders are paying at the pump is reasonable. “Petrol and diesel are fundamental to New Zealander households and businesses and I am concerned that the difference between what fuel is imported and sold for (fuel margins) has steadily increasing over a number of years. “We need to know why…
Monday, 13 February 2017 21:21

MaxiTRANS appoints new Managing Director

Following the announcement of Managing Director, Michael Brockhoff's retirement from MaxiTRANS, the trailer builder has appointed Dean Jenkins as his replacement, effective 1 March. According to MaxiTRANS, Jenkins (pictured) brings two decades of industry experience to the role, most recently as COO and Executive Director of leading engineering business, Weir Group. Chairman of MaxiTRANS, Robert Wylie, said the Board was delighted to appoint a senior international executive of Jenkins' calibre and experience to the role. "Dean has over 20 years' executive experience in managing transport and manufacturing businesses. He has a strong track record of successfully leading large, complex and…
The Automobile Association is calling on petrol companies to display all their petrol prices and says the government should force them to if they don't. Under the law petrol companies are required to display the price of all fuel products at the pump - and they are meeting that obligation.BP petrol station in Kaikōura The AA says petrol companies should put the price of premium petrol as well as 91 octane on their roadside boards. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King But AA petrolwatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale said there were many complaints about service stations not putting the price of premium…
The LoadScan Load Volume Scanner (LVS) is the original non-contact ‘drive-through’ lorry and dump truck load measurement instrument for the measurement of bulk materials volumes, and LoadScan are the leading international manufacturer of payload volume scanner and load management solutions for the construction, mining, mulch and biomass, quarry and sandpit, oil and gas as well as many other industries. LoadScan are the leading experts in volumetric truck load measurement solutions. The Load Volume Scanner was developed in 1998 to accurately tally the movements of aggregate and spoil being moved onto, off and around earthworks sites.The need for such a product…
The NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Airport have established a taskforce to find immediate ways to improve travel times and congestion on the roads and state highways to, from and around Auckland Airport, and to review the timing of other projects already planned to improve the performance of the transport network.A combination of higher than expected traffic volumes, wet weather, incidents and road improvement projects have created recent delays in the area, including last Thursday when Auckland’s transport network experienced significant performance issues. The taskforce has agreed to accelerate a number of planned initiatives, including:    • changes to…
A new Land Transport Rule will help increase efficiency and ease congestion on our roads by enabling trucks to carry more freight, Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says. The new Vehicle Dimensions and Mass (VDAM) rule makes small adjustments to the rules covering height, width and weight limits for trucks and some buses. “Maximising the potential of our heavy vehicle fleet will increase capacity and improve productivity across the transport sector,” Mr Foss says. “Enclosed vehicles such as refrigerated trailers will be able to load three more pallets side-by-side, increasing capacity by 10 per cent and reducing the number of…
Friday, 02 December 2016 10:26

Downer EDI wins $1.7bn Sydney train contract

Downer EDI has been awarded a $1.7 billion Sydney train contract by the New South Wales Government.  The contract includes an order of 24 double deck trains, with options for up to 45 additional sets, and maintenance of the trains for an initial period of 25 years, plus two optional five years extensions. Under the agreement, Downer’s joint venture partner CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles (CRRC) will manufacture the trains, while Downer will provide maintenance services. The company’s Chief Executive Officer Grant Fenn said he was delighted to secure the Sydney Growth Trains contract which would build on the proven success…