Fonterra opens rail link to Lyttelton port

Last updated 15:15 12/04/2013

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Big savings in more ways than one are expected from a new rail link allowing dairy giant Fonterra to keep milk powder deliveries off the road when they go from its new Darfield processing site to Lyttelton Port.

Rail wagons are expected to carry 200,000 tonnes of milk powder in the first year of operation for loading on to ships bound for Asia and the Middle East.

This is the result of a rail connection opened today connecting the Darfield warehouses to the main trunk line.

By keeping truck movements down, Fonterra expects the savings will come financially and to the environment.

Fonterra logistics manager Andy Sanderson said rail had connected Fonterra to New Zealand's key ports, from where products were exported to more than 100 markets around the world.

"Fonterra Darfield is on track to produce 85,000 metric tonnes of milk powder for customers this season, and our new rail link will provide a safe, efficient connection to Lyttelton."

He said the rail connection would benefit motorists as the train was expected to carry the freight of about 90 trucks a day when the second dryer went on line this year.

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