Interislander ferry suffers second mechanical problem in as many weeks


Interislander’s Aratere ferry suffered another mechanical problem after returning from dry dock work in Sydney.

Less than two weeks ago, the boat was affected by a failure that caused abnormal vibrations, which was identified during an inspection.

Today, a mechanical problem forced the Aratere to take an alternative route.

“Aratere will enter and exit Queen Charlotte Strait through the northern entrance. Therefore, we expect the journey to be about 45 minutes longer than expected,” the Interislander posted on its Twitter account this after. -midday.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding. “

KiwiRail has been approached for comment.

Managing Director Greg Miller previously acknowledged that the Interislander fleet of three ferries is aging and more prone to breakdowns.

The Kaiarahi ferry requires major repairs to its gearbox after a sudden failure, which is expected to last at least until March.

Last week, KiwiRail announced it had hired an additional freight ferry to secure the Cook Strait, a key link in New Zealand’s supply chain.

Valentine, who works on the Channel, is rented for an initial period of 12 months and should arrive in December.

“Old ships tend to have mechanical issues and this has been highlighted with the current mechanical issues on Aratere. Although it has now returned to service, we know the disruptions are bad for us and our customers,” Miller said last week.

“Valentine will help mitigate the impact on freight movements through the Cook Strait, in the event of further unexpected mechanical disturbances.”

Earlier this year, KiwiRail and Korean shipyard Hyundai Mipo Dockyard signed a contract for the delivery of two new state-of-the-art ferries to the Cook Strait.

The first is scheduled to arrive in 2025 and the second in 2026. The contract price for the two ferries is $ 551 million.

The two rail ferries will be able to carry nearly double the number of passengers and commercial vehicles and passengers compared to the current fleet.

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