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Palmerston North rail project still on track

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 18th July 2001

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Ports of Auckland (NZSE: POA) and Tranz Rail (NZSE: TRH) have rebuffed media speculation that their inland port venture in Palmerston North won't go ahead.

The two companies say they are still committed to the agreement reached earlier this year to establish a Ports of Auckland-run container operation in the lower North Island city.

Tranz Rail CEO, Michael Beard, and Ports of Auckland CEO, Geoff Vazey, says it is taking longer than expected to finalise some details of the arrangement but the two companies are working closely to resolve the issues.

"Tranz Rail and Ports of Auckland have a common strategic direction in terms of the optimum model for container freight in New Zealand.

"This is driving the sense and purpose of this project. We both see Palmerston North as a key location in the transport and container freight logistics chain."

The two companies say there has been strong support in Palmerston North for the initiative.

Initial plans outlined running at least one dedicated daily return service between Palmerston North and Ports of Auckland, with POA investing up to $5 million in the project and owning its own rolling stock.

Tranz Rail would operate the service under contract.

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