It was surprising therefore that after the experience of highly reliable locomotives built in North America that the Kiwirail management chose to purchase the DL class locomotives from CNR because there have been as many questions over their usability as there were for English and Japanese built locomotives in decades past. A hoist at work in one of KiwiRail's Container Terminal sites.

[30] An asbestos removal plan was instigated and the first locomotive was returned to service in April 2014.

In one instance a weld on an alternator fan failed resulting in the blade breaking off.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email. [7], As a consequence of the problems experienced, production of the second batch of units was put on hold in mid-2012 pending resolution of the design issues. [2] They were then towed to Te Rapa by two of the earlier arrivals. For the point of this article we are going to assume 80,000 km MDBF is a reasonable number. Soon after the new company was officially launched, the State Owned Enterprises Minister Trevor Mallard announced that the government was investigating the possibility of assembling new locomotives at Hutt Workshops, then operated by United Group Rail, from imported parts.[12]. KiwiRail is revitalising Northland's rail network, by replacing bridges, improving tunnels and upgrading the rail line to Whangārei to enable more freight to be carried by rail. After several years of negotiations, the two parties could not come to an agreement on the amount that Toll should pay for access to the rail network (track access fees), and Toll did not purchase any new locomotives while this issue remained unsolved. A third batch of eight locomotives was ordered in September 2013. Guests included Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Steven Joyce.

The main alternator and traction motors are of Chinese origin, and we expect the control systems mostly are as well.

[11] When Toll assumed responsibility for the rail operation, the New Zealand Railways Corporation again took over the maintenance of the railway network under the trading name ONTRACK. TranzAlpine crossing the Waimakariri Bridge. Interislander ferry Kaitaki approaching Allports Island.

The NZ railway network traffic density does not justify a high level of investment and that’s why Kiwirail is happy with the mix of locomotives they currently have. There are a small number of DC class, which are fifty year old rebuilt EMD G12 locomotives from the 1960s, still operating, and there have also been a few rebuilt G22s from the late 1970s until relatively recently. Coastal Pacific crossing the Kahutara River. In July 2008, the fifth Labour Government purchased Toll Rail from Toll, renamed it KiwiRail, and merged it with ONTRACK, creating one company that controls both operations and rail infrastructure.

The DL class are visually similar to the electric EF class locomotives used on the North Island Main Trunk line, being of similar dimensions and both twin-cab designs.

The overall reliability of these classes also tended to fall well below EMD/GE locos.

[13], Critics questioned the reliability of the locomotives,[5] citing Dalian-built locomotives in Malaysia encountering a number of initial technical problems (see KTM Class 29). They also pointed out that the design reflected the need for the cab to be as strong as possible.[15][16]. Fifteen new Gen 2.3 DL locomotives depart KiwiRail's Mt Maunganui yard, shortly after arriving at the Port of Tauranga, in 2018. The NZ mainline locomotive fleet at the present time is mainly the DL class and the GE built DX class (1972-1975) and its derivatives.

Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CNR Group), "KiwiRail orders more Chinese locomotives", "KiwiRail Orders Another 20 Chinese Locomotives", "KiwiRail places third order for CNR Dalian locomotives", "KiwiRail's first Chinese locomotive arrives next month", "Govt may assemble Kiwirail locomotives in NZ", "NZ built locomotives 70% more expensive", "Major problems with new locomotives: union", "Second batch of KiwiRail locomotives roll out",,, "More problems with KiwiRail's Chinese-made trains have been revealed", "Testing of Locomotives underway to ensure staff safety", New Zealand Railways Rolling Stock Lists - DL class (2010), Twenty DL locomotives Providing Grunt for Rail Freight, 88 seater (also known as Fiats or twinsets),, Diesel-electric locomotives of New Zealand, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 108 tonnes (106 long tons; 119 short tons), This page was last edited on 26 October 2020, at 00:23. [26] The Rail & Maritime Transport Union claimed that the problems were beyond those usually experienced with new locomotives.

In July 2016, it was announced that KiwiRail has put an order for 15 more DL locomotives. Thanks for visiting the KiwiRail image library. Twenty of the locomotives have been put into service and more will soon be added to the fleet. They are planning to order 10 more DLs, probably so they can write off what is left of the DC class, and it is currently rumoured the DLs will soon be introduced on the Main North Line in the South Island. Kiwirail claims that is acceptable for their current service expectations for their business. I request the most recent MDBF figures KiwiRail for both the DL and DX class locomotives. [18] A ceremony to mark commissioning was held at Te Rapa on 10 December, attended by many KiwiRail staff, including CEO Jim Quinn. The locomotives use a 2.7MW German-built MTU 20V 4000R43 engine, expected to have 5–10% increased fuel efficiency over other locomotives,[4] Wabtec braking equipment, and ZD126C traction motors. [17] They also have the same Co-Co wheel arrangement as the DF and DX classes, as opposed to the Bo-Bo-Bo layout of the EFs. We understand that the half life overhaul for the DL class locomotives has been taking place at about 8-9 years for the members of the class with the Gen 1 locomotives having reached that milestone within the last couple of years. If the locomotives have a mileage of around 100,000 km per year as implied then this failure rate would be around 1-2 major failures per year. [24] They arrived in early to mid October 2018, and were towed to Hamilton on 12 October. The twin-cab design also provides operational flexibility as locomotives no longer need to be turned or operated in multiple when working terminating lines. However in general, we believe the EE / Mitsubishi locomotives were getting that exchange component overhaul at about half the mileage of EMD/GE locomotives and so were more expensive to maintain, and parts supply for EE locomotives was generally slower. The New Zealand DL class of diesel-electric locomotives was manufactured for KiwiRail by CRRC Dalian with engines from MTU. Nor do we know very much about the historical classification system of A and B grade overhauls of locomotives, or how the EMD/GE data compared with the other historical types of diesel-electric or electric mainline locomotives in the NZR system, most of which were made by English Electric (one class made by Mitsubishi), or for that matter with the various types of shunting locomotives from a range of manufacturers. Here you will find a range of print-quality images of our ferries, trains and people. It has been difficult to get an objective picture of the usefulness of the locomotives because of the political heat generated over their introduction, from one side with the rail union and some drivers questioning management decisions, and from the other side with the enthusiast community and politicians attacking mainly the Chinese origin of the locomotives. The introduction of the DL class has allowed KiwiRail to transfer all of the DX class locomotives to the South Island. Fifteen new Gen 2.3 DL locomotives depart KiwiRail's Mt Maunganui yard, shortly after arriving at the Port of Tauranga, in 2018. The gold standard for locomotive longevity set by EMD and GE has been a locomotive lifetime of 1 million miles (1.6 million km) over a 16 to 18 year period. Critics of the idea pointed out that New Zealand did not possess the necessary skilled labour in sufficient quantity for such a construction program to proceed in a timely manner, and had not done so for several decades since New Zealand Government Railways ceased building its own locomotives - all mainline locomotives since the introduction of diesel traction in the 1950s have been imported. In 2012 KiwiRail undertook testing of a DL locomotive along the lower North Island main and branch lines. [9] The locomotives were to be built in China by Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CNR Group). Please note, a large selection of high resolution images and videos of our Great Journeys of New Zealand tourism services is available here.

During that time the locomotive would typically have a half life overhaul with the engine, main alternator and traction motors exchanged within the chassis with overhauled equivalents. In 2009, an order for 20 locomotives was placed (delivered 2010-2011), a further 20 were ordered in 2011 (for 2012 delivery but postponed to 2013 due to reliability issues). A review also found that locally built locomotives would be some 70% more expensive than purchasing from CNR. DL 9020 on a freight train near Papakura, Auckland. The first six arrived at Mount Maunganui on 20 November 2010,[1] and were moved to Te Rapa, Hamilton three days later for commissioning and driver training. CNR Dalian says they are achieving significantly higher levels of reliability than specified in the contract. As we have striven to point out, these locomotives are not high tech items, the technology needed to produce and maintain them being so well understood and easily engineered that unless major structural failures occurred, or the engines had a very short life, the locomotives are highly likely to remain in service for their expected life time.

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