Want Goods moved efficiently? Try rail and boat
From Transport Spokesperson for the Greens Party – Julie Ann Genter:
Greens launch Safer, Cleaner Freight policy to get trucks off our roads
The Green Party today announced a plan to get half of New Zealand’s freight moving by rail and sea within 10 years, and dramatically reduce the number of dangerous trucks clogging up New Zealand’s roads.
The Safer, Cleaner Freight policy sets a target for moving half of freight on rail and by sea within 10 years of the next election. It allows the transport budget to be used to fund rail projects, and commits to the electrification of rail between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
“National’s single-minded focus on a few expensive highways is downright irresponsible, and will ultimately force more and more trucks onto New Zealand roads,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“National spends five times more on a few low-value motorways than it does on the entire rail network. National’s pet projects will actually increase congestion and the number of trucks on New Zealand roads, meaning within a decade Kiwis will have to share the roads with an additional 1.7 million truck trips every year.
“New Zealanders are sick and tired of more and more trucks congesting their towns and cities and bearing down behind them on the road. Every year, an average of 55 people are killed in crashes involving trucks, and over 850 are seriously injured.
“Rail is our second corridor. A single train can remove 70 heavy trucks from the road. By investing in rail and shipping we will not only make roads safer, but the air cleaner, and create a safer climate for future generations.
“We will invest $860 million to electrify rail between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga – New Zealand’s busiest freight corridors. This will help to move freight safely off the road, and create a zero emissions freight service in ‘the Golden Triangle’.
“Instead of demanding that rail return a profit, which has set rail up to fail, we’ll fund it from the transport budget in the same way roads are, providing the investment needed to move freight in the most effective and clean way.
“Moving freight by rail and ship is not only safer and cheaper, but better for the environment. Shifting half of New Zealand’s freight by rail and ship is the equivalent of replacing over 1.6 million petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles.
“National has neglected rail and shipping, choosing instead to spend almost five times the amount invested in rail on new motorways every year,” Ms Genter said.
And despite what the Road Transport Forum and their one dimensional trolls think an expanded rail and shipping operation actually does not cause trucking drivers to lose their jobs (given we are short any way) but rather further secure their jobs (if they do not want to come over to rail and shipping any way0.
The most efficient form of moving goods over land is rail. The most efficient form of moving any goods over long distance especially if bulk is shipping. Not I did not say trucks nor did I say motorways.
Like buses trucks are great for short distance shuttling between two points. In this case with trucks between a rail freight depot and the end of point destination like a commercial or industrial facility. A single DL class locomotive with 50 wagons can haul 100 x 20 foot TEU containers in one go which equates up to 100 trucks depending on their configuration. That same locomotive can also haul 50 wagons of logs which is 100 trucks also not on the road. So 1-2 train drivers does the same work as up to 100 truck drivers. Pure economics and efficiency (given rail is not held up by road traffic unlike trucks) for businesses. This means the roads are subsequently cleared for the still needed urgent just-in-time freight trucks which are currently caught on the road system.
Rail and shipping: good for the human AND physical environments – including truck drivers.
Also rail freight is profitable ($90m in the last financial cycle).