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New Sprint Train Service for Palmerston North


New Sprint Train Service for Palmerston North

Manawatu businesses and motorists stand to benefit from a new high-speed

overnight train service from Palmerston North to Auckland that starts this

Monday, May 26.

Palmerston North manufacturers and freight forwarding companies have

already shown keen interest in Tranz Rail's new overnight sprint service

The user friendly sprint service leaves the city just after 9pm and

arrives in Auckland well before 7am the next morning, enabling customers

to collect their freight and begin unpacking at the start of the business

day.

The service has already attracted new business for the company, with early

bookings accounting for 50% of the available space.

And as more local businesses opt to use the service it will mean fewer

trucks on the roads, says Tranz Rail Planning and Projects manager Peter

Morris. He says the company introduced the train, following the success

of a southbound Auckland-Wellington sprint train started last year to

provide a premier overnight freight connection between Auckland and

Wellington.

"The benefits of this new service are substantial to both ourselves, our

customers and local communities such as the Manawatu. Forwarders are able

to take more trucks off already busy roads, Tranz Rail picks up more cargo

and is able to offer an efficient and cost effective overnight freight

service in both directions."

The train consists of a fixed number of container wagons that have been

upgraded to run at 90 kph, compared with the previous freight speeds of

80kph. It leaves Wellington at 6.30pm with 17 wagons, stops at Palmerston

North to pick up a further eight and continues on its journey north.

Tranz Rail is also developing specialised equipment for the service to

meet the needs of customers. These include new 25-foot side-opening

containers, which make better use of wagon space and can carry

substantially more than standard 20-foot containers.

Containers can be easily lifted on and off at container transfer

terminals, which allows for speedy loading and unloading and a quick

turnaround in Palmerston North. This has meant the cut off time for

delivery is a user friendly 7pm in Palmerston North.

Peter Morris says the sprint services already running between Auckland and

Wellington have been well received, and he anticipates similar success for

the new service.

"A major reason for the success is that we are consistently achieving on

-time departures from Auckland As a result some of our customers have

opted to take trucks off the road and use this service."


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