Tranz Rail sets new coal record

<p>Tranz Rail set a new monthly coal haulage record through the Southern Alps from the west coast to the Port of Lyttleton last month.</p> <p>Nearly 170,000 tonnes of coal was hauled through the Alps in April compared to over 150,000 tonnes in March.</p> <p>Total coal volumes in April were up almost 10% and service reliability exceeded 95% as 177 trains followed this route.</p> <p>The Alps service faces some of the country’s most difficult terrain, including steep gradients.</p> <p>This service has struggled during the year because of rolling stock shortages.</p> <p>The locomotive fleet is now back to full strength and nearly NZ$500,000 in track improvements are nearly complete.</p> <p>More improvements are scheduled, including a NZ$2.5m program to extend crossing loops and de-stress the track.</p> <p>Tranz Rail is now on track to carry more than 2m tonnes of coal through the Alps in 2002.</p> <br />