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Construction of the rail exchange at Ports of Auckland’s Wiri Inland Port in South Auckland is a step closer to completion.
Two of three rail siding tracks that will connect the inland port to the Waitemata seaport are in place and work is well under way on the concrete hardstand.
Ports of Auckland Managing Director Jens Madsen said the project was on schedule for completion in January 2010 and that the first train would arrive early in the New Year.
“This is about bringing the seaport right to the doorstep of businesses in South Auckland,” said Mr Madsen.
“Exporters and importers will be able to drop off and pick up containers without having to negotiate the Auckland motorways.”
Containers will move to and from the seaport by rail, saving as many as 100,000 central city truck trips per annum once the service is fully operational.
“By using the Wiri Inland Port as a storage centre and staging post, we’ll also free up room and create efficiencies at the Waitemata seaport. This is good news for the whole supply chain,” Mr Madsen said.
Mr Madsen said carbon emission modelling by Ports of Auckland had shown big potential savings for businesses close to the Wiri Inland Port.
“A lot of our current customers are based within eight kilometres of the inland port. By using the rail link to the seaport, this group will be able to reduce the carbon emissions of transporting their containers by up to 25%,” he said.
The Wiri Inland Port is strategically located off Wiri Station Road in South Auckland, close to Auckland International Airport, and adjacent to SH1 and SH20.
Brian Perry Civil and KiwiRail are undertaking the works, including the construction of the three rail sidings, involving around 2,000m of additional rail track, and the hardstand.
Each of the three sidings is capable of taking 22 wagons. Together, they will enable two trains to be worked simultaneously, with the third track available for repositioning locomotives.
The hardstand from which the containers will be loaded and unloaded is 50% complete. When finished, after 15 major concrete pours, it will be 450 metres long and cover nearly 11,000 square metres, just shy of the overall size of the Britomart Transport Centre station platform.
Ports of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest container port by volume, handling around 840,000 TEU (20ft-equivalent units), more than 1,600 ship calls and 2.7 million tonnes of break-bulk (non-containerised) cargo per annum. It is New Zealand’s major import port and a key partner to export industries. Ports of Auckland is 100%-owned by Auckland Regional Holdings.
KiwiRail is New Zealand's leading surface transport operator, providing a cost-efficient line-haul service for the movement of bulk commodities or containerised freight.