Wiri Inland Port Rail Exchange
Bordering the North Island Main Trunk Line, the new Wiri Rail Exchange was jointly funded by Ports of Auckland and KiwiRail. It comprises three rail sidings, around 2,000m of new rail track and a 450m long concrete hard stand covering 11,000 sqm. Each siding has capacity for 22 wagons. The format means two trains may be worked simultaneously leaving the third track free for repositioning locomotives.
Launched in February 2010, the rail link between the Wiri Rail Exchange and the seaport will have the capacity to transfer 100,000 TEU pa thereby saving up to an estimated 2.5M truck kilometers pa or 100,000 central city truck trips.
"This is about bringing the seaport right to the doorstep of businesses in South Auckland. Exporters and importers can drop off and pick up containers without having to negotiate Auckland motorways" says Jens Madsen, POAL Managing Director.
He explains that in addition to the potential benefits for the community through the reduced road congestion, carbon emission modeling by POAL has shown big potential savings for businesses close to the Wiri Freight Hub. "Many of our current customers are based within eight kms of the Wiri Freight Hub. By using the rail link to the seaport, they will be able to reduce the carbon emissions of transporting their containers by up to 25%".
The new rail link will also enable higher utilisation of Ports of Auckland's own rail facility at the seaport, Axis Rail. While the port battled for rail connections over years, it did so against a historic shortage of rail equipment in an ageing fleet in a rail company that went from public ownership to multiple owners in the private sector and finally back to public ownership under KiwiRail. With KiwiRail, POAL was finally able to enter meaningful negotiations and reach agreement to develop the Rail Exchange.
At the seaport, Axis Rail operates over four parallel lines each over 500m long, that can accommodate 128 wagons simultaneously for container loading or discharge. A modern fleet of reach stackers and straddle carriers unloads and loads wagons and transfers containers between Axis Rail and the container stack in the container terminal yard.
File Ref 2010 POAL Interconnect March Pgs 8,9,10 & 11 CONLINXX & Rail