NEW ZEALAND: KiwiRail awarded CNR Dalian a contract to supply a further eight Class DL diesel locomotives last month, taking its total order to 48.’We have been very pleased with the performance of these locomotives to date and they are proving their worth on our North Island freight routes’, the national rail operator told Railway Gazette International. KiwiRail ordered an initial 20 Class DL locomotives in September 2009, in what was CNR’s first order to supply diesel locomotives to a western country. Powered by 2·7 MW MTU engines, they were delivered in 2010-11. A second batch of 20 ordered in June 2011 incorporated modifications based on experience from the introduction of the first locomotives, and as a result ‘have been commissioned very quickly and are already performing well in full service’, according to KiwiRail. The operator is aiming to renew and standardise its locomotive fleet across the country. The majority of locomotives operating in the North Island are now Class DL, with each new locomotive enabling the withdrawal of two older ones. KiwiRail said the Class DL locomotives are 5% to 10% more fuel-efficient as a one-for-one replacement for the existing fleet, and up to 30% when they replace two existing locomotives. CNR has also signed a contract to support the DL fleet, in a deal which the Chinese company said highlights its strategy of offering services beyond manufacturing.