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Longer log trains running on key forestry route
KiwiRail has geared up quickly to respond to a big increase in logs being harvested in the Bay of Plenty by putting on longer log trains along the key forestry route to the Port of Tauranga.
A team effort across the business has meant 40 wagon trains can now operate on the Murupara - Kawerau leg of the journey. Gradients along the branch line previously meant trains were limited to 35 wagons, says KiwiRail bulk manager Steve Muir.
"We needed to do some work to identify the right locomotive combination to enable longer trains and heavier loads, he says.
The service is now run with a DL and two DC locomotives on the first leg of the journey and a single DL for the remainder of the run along the ECMT to Mt Maunganui.
"Subject to further tests being successful we will look at moving to 45 wagons."
The increased demand for export logs means rail volumes are also up from Kinleith.