, The acquisition of new locomotives was first proposed by Toll NZ after they purchased Tranz Rail in 2003. A KiwiRail document obtained by Radio New Zealand said the alternator cooling fan on several DL Locomotives which came into service in the past two years was found to be defective. In 2012 KiwiRail published a comparison between the new DL class locomotives mean distance before failure (MDBF) and older DX class locomotives. The alternative of importing locomotives was billed as the quickest way to obtain the necessary new motive power. CNR Dalian says they are achieving significantly higher levels of reliability than specified in the contract. Fifteen new Gen 2.3 DL locomotives depart KiwiRail's Mt Maunganui yard, shortly after arriving at the Port of Tauranga, in 2018.  In March 2014 KiwiRail reported that tests had shown small (5%) amounts of white asbestos in a soundproofing compound in five locomotives, with no asbestos in the remaining 34, and with no airborne asbestos or asbestos dust found. Fifteen new Gen 2.3 DL locomotives depart KiwiRail's Mt Maunganui yard, shortly after arriving at the Port of Tauranga, in 2018. 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. The first freight train to travel on the Main North Line after the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake makes its way south in September 2017. Following the election of the fifth National government in November 2008, the investment programme initiated by the previous administration was suspended pending a review. 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. There’s been a report today in Radio NZ News regarding the reliability of the DL Class locomotives, with the suggestion that many of the class members are not achieving the expected rate of reliability and that therefore Kiwirail should be choosing some other type of locomotive to purchase. 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. , Critics questioned the reliability of the locomotives, citing Dalian-built locomotives in Malaysia encountering a number of initial technical problems (see KTM Class 29). 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. I request the most recent MDBF figures KiwiRail for both the DL and DX class locomotives. Twenty of the locomotives have been put into service and more will soon be added to the fleet.  The locomotives were to be built in China by Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CNR Group). 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. 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. DL 9020 on a freight train near Papakura, Auckland. 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", http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/news/australasia/single-view/view/kiwirail-places-third-order-for-cnr-dalian-locomotives.html, http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/locomotives/kiwirail-to-order-more-chinese-locomotives-2.html, "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), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=New_Zealand_DL_class_locomotive&oldid=985444577, 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. 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 first six arrived at Mount Maunganui on 20 November 2010, and were moved to Te Rapa, Hamilton three days later for commissioning and driver training.  A ceremony to mark commissioning was held at Te Rapa on 10 December, attended by many KiwiRail staff, including CEO Jim Quinn.  They arrived in early to mid October 2018, and were towed to Hamilton on 12 October.  A fourth order for an additional 15 was placed by KiwiRail in 2016, to replace the EF class electric locomotives on the North Island Main Trunk.  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. CNR officials were also present, with the chairman of CNR Cui Diangao explaining to media that this was the first time that Chinese locomotives have been exported to a developed country. In some cases these replaced services previously operated by two locomotives in multiple, also eliminating the need to turn the locomotives, though it has been noted that they are regularly turned anyway.. In fact given the norm in NZ there is also a high likelihood many of them could be extended to 3 million kilometres and 32 years service with a full rebuild after 16 years, as has occurred with our EMD/GE classes, if their basic structure is still in good condition at that time. , In February 2014, all 40 DLs were taken out of service for tests after samples from one locomotive tested positive for asbestos in a resin used for sound-proofing. It would be interesting to see a comparison between the DL class and other classes of locomotives in the system. They are the most powerful diesel … Following the introduction of the second batch DL locomotives were introduced to operations along the Marton - New Plymouth Line - including the milk trains to Fonterra's Whareroa complex near Hāwera - and the Palmerston North - Gisborne Line, the latter as far as the current operating terminus in Napier.  The Rail & Maritime Transport Union claimed that the problems were beyond those usually experienced with new locomotives. The cab layout incorporates design elements from British Rail Class 60 with a near-central pedestal controller. They also pointed out that the design reflected the need for the cab to be as strong as possible.. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.  Ten locomotives of the second batch arrived on 19 June 2013, and a further 10 on 8 August 2013. 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. 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 further 20 units were ordered in June 2011. The New Zealand DL class of diesel-electric locomotives was manufactured for KiwiRail by CRRC Dalian with engines from MTU.They are the most powerful diesel-electric locomotives in service in New Zealand. The main alternator and traction motors are of Chinese origin, and we expect the control systems mostly are as well. The twin-cab design also provides operational flexibility as locomotives no longer need to be turned or operated in multiple when working terminating lines. Here you will find a range of print-quality images of our ferries, trains and people. Interislander ferry Kaitaki approaching Allports Island.  KiwiRail stated that the teething problems were normal on new locomotives and that reliability was improving. 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. 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. , On delivery, the Rail & Maritime Transport Union raised concerns over cab visibility and the locomotive's weight; KiwiRail subsequently confirmed that the locomotive weighed 105t, and that the cab meets US standards and is the same as used in a number of other countries. Guests included Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Steven Joyce.  This batch arrived on 15 March 2015. We do not have information here about the 80,000 km figure, whether it is world class or not, but will introduce some other numbers here. The order marked one of the first steps of considerable investment in KiwiRail, and the first order for a Chinese-built locomotive from a western country. The remaining 14 of the first batch had been manufactured by April 2011, and were shipped by the Tasman Trader, arriving in Auckland in June 2011. The New Zealand DL class of diesel-electric locomotives was manufactured for KiwiRail by CRRC Dalian with engines from MTU.  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. TranzAlpine crossing the Waimakariri Bridge. It was reported that the risk from asbestos was minimal and that levels of asbestos were insignificant. It can be seen that until the introduction of the DL class most of the mainline fleet in NZ was pretty old.  On 31 July 2012 KiwiRail announced that the fleet achieved its highest mean distance between failures (MDBF) rating, outperforming the DX class locomotives by 3000 km. 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). Please note, a large selection of high resolution images and videos of our Great Journeys of New Zealand tourism services is available here. The idea of building the locomotives in New Zealand as advocated by the Fifth Labour Government was promoted as a way of creating jobs at a time when the economy was entering a recession and unemployment was rising.