Saturday, 29 November 2014

Kiwirail to address third party damage to rail land

Express No. 269

This policy is very relevant to the Napier-Gisborne Line because the line was damaged by tree cutting debris that blocked culverts and caused the major washouts that helped close the line.

KiwiRail’s drive to cut spending across the business is leading the company to identify ways to retrieve costs incurred from third-party damage. KiwiRail Senior Corporate Counsel Lloyd Berryman says the company will also be looking to address business interruption costs affecting KiwiRail’s revenue. “Whether it’s wagons, track damage, a bridge strike or establishing a lease we’ll be increasingly looking toensure we aren’t subsidising something someone else should be paying for. “We’re looking at more ways to tighten up our reporting processes to capture the information we need to ensure we can do this effectively. One example of where where we’ve been successful at doing this over the last year and a half is bridge strike repairs,” says Lloyd.

Last month Lloyd put on a hi-vis to join I&E’s Pierre Benson and view first-hand the damage caused by some haphazard forestry harvesting on private land adjoining the North Auckland Line. As Lloyd’s first time in a hi-rail he had a lot of fun but he was quite saddened by the state of the track. What he saw shocked him, “It was best described as a bombsite– the extent of the track damage caused by blocked culverts and drains due to tree debris was alarming. The neighbours’ lack of care and respect for our tracks have resulted in formation subsiding and slips which puts our team and business operations at risk. It really brought home the importance of KiwiRail working together to keep each other safe,” says Lloyd. “We’ve spoken with the owners of the forest, and are formally writing to them. We will be outlining the importance of the owners developing a suitable long-term management plan following harvesting, as well as working through how KiwiRail will recover its costs and damage.”