Num­bers game

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

Cost pro­jec­tions from Ki­wiRail briefly ap­peared to send Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil’s trans­port bud­get $2.6 mil­lion into the red, a coun­cil meet­ing was told re­cently.

Ki­wiRail up­dated its fore­casts in April with the ad­di­tional costs.

Coun­cil chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Bruce Simp­son said a closer in­spec­tion of Ki­wiRail’s pro­jec­tions re­vealed the rail com­pany had mis­coded some cap­i­tal ex­penses re­lated to up­grade work associated with the new Matangi trains, and charged work for an­other train to the coun­cil.

‘‘When we sat down with them we ac­tu­ally dis­cov­ered that quite a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion re­lated to cap­i­tal projects,’’ he said.

The big­gest charge was $900,000 at­trib­uted to elec­tric­ity line main­te­nance, which was ac­tu­ally up­grade work for the more pow­er­ful Matangi trains.

An­other $500,000 was for re­place­ment buses for trains dur­ing line shut­downs, which had been planned for in the up­grade bud­get.

A fur­ther $150,000 was for work done in Ki­wiRail’s car­riage work­shop to the TranzScenic train, mis­tak­enly at­trib­uted to the coun­cil.

The pro­jected cost over­run is now only $300,000, the cost of tem­po­rary ticket col­lec­tion changes, Mr Simp­son said.

‘‘I think in hind­sight, if they could have their time again, they would have spent a lit­tle bit more time on work­ing out their num­bers.’’

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