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Tranz Rail Offers Unlimited Freight Capacity

For Immediate Release
5 July, 2001

Tranz Rail Offers Unlimited Freight Capacity

With the current debate over the introduction of ‘super’ trucks, Tranz Rail believes it is important for people to know rail has the capacity to cope with significantly higher demand to move freight around New Zealand.

Tranz Rail General Manager Rail Services Noel Coom says there is no need for the public of New Zealand to have to compete with even more trucks on the road as Tranz Rail has the infrastructure in place to cater for New Zealand’s freight needs.

“The only potential restriction on capacity is with our inter-island link but as we can move the equivalent of 400, twenty foot containers a day between the North and South Islands, this is rarely challenged.

“Our freight movements are highly competitive and with the recent introduction of fixed capacity unit trains we have increased our efficiency and most importantly to all motorists, they do not have to compete with us on the public carriageway.

“New Zealand would be well advised to look at what is happening in America where there is growing concern over the introduction of longer combination vehicles.

“Research there shows that a single ‘super’ truck has the same impact on highway congestion and traffic delay as 10 to 12 automobiles.

“Also, a recent study by the American Environmental Protection Agency indicates that for every ton-mile carried, a typical truck emits roughly three times more nitrogen oxides and particulates than a locomotive.

“The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute claims that fatal accident rates increase with heavier weight for any truck configuration.

“Mr Coom says statistics certainly show that rail offers not only an environmentally friendly service but also a safe one. Last year, regrettably three people died as a result of rail level crossing accidents and a further 11 people were injured. 76 people died in truck related crashes and 536 people were injured.”


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