Brownlee demands answers on asbestos-ridden trains

STACEY KIRK AND TESSA JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 03/03/2014
WANTING ANSWERS: Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.
Fairfax NZ
UPSET: Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Relevant offers

Politics

Oscar Kightley: John's gone so the fun has to stop Jonathan Milne: Others aspire to change the world; John Key sought to manage the small change David Slack: 2016 - mostly cheesy and crunchy Rod Oram: Key - Big on salesmanship but low on strategy Passing muster: The struggle to fix our sick, bloated, 'stinking' prisons David v Jacinda: What I want from our new Prime Minister Stacey Kirk: Ratings, respect and rejuvenation - English driving a stable cart, but some gravel roads ahead Ten years of fear and crashes as schools battle 'agonisingly slow' NZ Transport Agency Paula Bennett has won the battle for deputy Prime Minister and will team up with Bill English Rampaging goats, resigning PMs - it's a crazy time in New Zealand

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee is calling on KiwiRail bosses to provide answers after 40 asbestos-contaminated locomotives were removed from service.

KiwiRail said asbestos was found in a paint sample on one of the trains, prompting urgent testing to be carried out.

The trains were removed from service on Friday, disrupting North Island freight.

KiwiRail spokeswoman Jenni Austin said testing was completed on DL locomotives in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga on Saturday and now the focus was on trains in Palmerston North and Wellington.

Test results would not be known until late today or tomorrow.

The DL locomotives were manufactured in China, the first 20 imported four years ago and 20 more last year.

KiwiRail said they had specifically stated in the contract with the manufacturers that asbestos or toxic materials not be used.

Mr Brownlee said he would be meeting KiwiRail chair John Spencer and new chief executive Peter Reidy.

"KiwiRail themselves are working on the problem. If there are decisions the Government has to make then clearly that would become apparent at that point."

The Chinese company that built the trains had accepted full responsibility, but just how the problem was to be fixed had yet to be decided.

Meanwhile, Opposition MPs were calling for an independent review into KiwiRail's tender processes.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content