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Toll NZ Response To Coal Route Review

23 June 2004

Toll NZ Response To Coal Route Review

Toll NZ welcomes the coal route review released today by the LTSA and says that the majority of recommendations were well understood and the work has been done, is underway, planned or under review.

Toll NZ Chief Executive Officer David Jackson says, " taking into account that it is a year ago that the review was undertaken it is important to note there is a lot of work already completed and there is only 8 kilometres of continuous welded rail work left to go on the Midland Line".

"I am surprised that issues over the Otira Tunnel were raised regarding a maintenance programme. This has been in place for sometime prior to the review with regular shutdowns occurring so work could be carried out," says Mr Jackson.

Relating to safety comments about tunnels on the Midland line, including Otira, a National Tunnel Safety team exists which comprises of frontline staff, management and RMTU members. Spokesperson Carl Mills says," this team has run regular emergency exercises and at least one further exercise is to be planned this year".

While the report says more resources are needed, Toll has now in place a second bridge gang based at Greymouth and also makes extensive use of specialised bridge contractors and consultants to review all structures on the Midland line.

Toll NZ have recently taken back full control of Tranz Scenic and the issues identified in the Coal Route Review will form part of the overall business review currently underway.

"The Midland Line (coal route) is an important part of our business. TrackCo will in future manage the maintenance but we will be working closely with the new Crown entity once it is up and running regarding any future major investments in this area," says Mr Jackson.

ENDS

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