Marton to New Plymouth Line2017-08-22T02:21:18+12:00
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Marton to New Plymouth Line

Sector: Rail


Client: KiwiRail


Date: 2012 – 2013


Project Location: Auckland


Frequency Role: Project Manager


Hawera lies on the Marton New Plymouth Line (MNPL) in Taranaki and is home to Fonterra’s Whareroa site which processes one fifth of Fonterra’s dairy product in New Zealand. Milk is transported to Whareroa via rail from the surrounding districts. The rail traffic demand the plant created was pushing the MNPL past its serviceability limits and creating delays.

Frequency were commissioned by KiwiRail’s Project Management Office to find a solution to increase capacity on the line for a fixed budget. After a robust feasibility study including timetable modeling and delay analysis, Frequency proposed key improvements on the line and a supporting business case.

Phase 1 involved delivering a new 540m long crossing loop at Manutahi which was completed in November 2012. This involved the negotiated acquisition of neighbouring land required for the wider passing loop. The new land allowed the construction of a 7 meter high, 150m long hardfill embankment over the 2012 winter period and the installation of 1000m of new rail. Frequency procured the required territorial consents (including full and permanent road closure) with the local council and engaged with multiple stakeholders to successfully commission the crossing loop within 7 months from the approval of the business case.

Phase 2 involved installing Centralised Train Control (CTC) between Marton and Aramaho. This phase of the project was completed and commissioned in August 2013. This involved extending the CTC fibre backbone for 5km from SH3 to the existing crossing loop at Ruatangata, installing ducting, cabling and new CTC signals at the crossing loop along with upgrading the existing sidings.

In parallel to these upgrades, the capacity of the fibre backbone along the MNPL was upgraded using Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing equipment, a system which Frequency had previously sourced on behalf of KiwiRail to upgrade the existing KiwiRail owned fibre between Auckland and Wellington.

Key Challenges:

  • Feasibility Study.
  • Timetable modeling and delay analysis.
  • Providing a business case for new works.
  • Stakeholder liaison.
  • Challenging timeframe for procurement and delivery.