Focus on the Land
Rail network a vital asset
Monday, July 16, 2012
With the recently announced restructure of KiwiRail to separate the land assets of the New Zealand Railways Corporation from the rest of the company, the Government should consider creating a rail structure similar to the UK.
The track and infrastructure of KiwiRail should be kept with the NZRC, as the rail network itself should not be expected to make a profit as it cannot realistically do so.
Expecting KiwiRail to make a profit while being fully responsible for the costs of the network is like expecting bus and trucking companies to pay for the full cost of maintaining the roading network.
The rail network should be considered an essential asset of the country, just as roads are, and the NZRC should be structured and run similar to the NZ Transport Agency — managing and maintaining the network.
KiwiRail could then run as a profit-making rail operator business, paying a fee for using the tracks, while the independent NZRC could potentially allow other rail operators to use the rail network — as in the UK.
ISAAC BROOME Beachlands, Auckland
10:10 a.m. Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012
A great letter, Isaac. If NZRC maintained the tracks and charged a fee for their use, it would create a stable and fair market for both KiwiRail and all the heritage rail societies around the country.
The rail infrastructure should not have to return a profit. Biosecurity measures do not have to return a profit, yet if they are below par, the cost is immeasurable. Gisborne's rail isolation is a disgrace and incredibly short-sighted.
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