KiwiRail says it is too soon to say when the crippled
Interislander ferry Aratere will be back in action.
The Interislander operator had hoped the ferry would be back
in service this morning after a computer issue affecting the
propulsion system forced the cancellation of all sailings
yesterday, delaying the travel plans of about 650 people.
But spokeswoman Sophie Lee said sailings of the Aratere had
been cancelled again today while technicians continued to
examine the issue.
"We're still confident it's an issue with the control system,
which has in turn affected the propulsion system. They are
still examining the issue."
Ms Lee said it was too soon to say whether the ferry would be
sailing again tomorrow.
About 650 passengers affected by yesterday's cancellations
were accommodated on other sailings, and similar arrangements
had been put in place today.
The cancelled passenger services today were the 10.30am
sailing from Picton, the 2.30pm sailing from Wellington and
the 6.30pm sailing from Picton.
Passengers were transferred to the 8.25am Kaitaki sailing
from Wellington, the 1.10pm return sailing from Picton, the
6.25pm Arahura sailing from Wellington, and the 10.25pm
sailing from Picton.
Scheduled freight services at 10.30pm and 2.30am have also
been cancelled. The 9pm Kaitaki sailing from Wellington will
carry affected freight.
Ms Lee yesterday said the issue was not related to the
Aratere's recent $54 million revamp, nor the ship's engine
problems which put a stop to passenger sailings for more than
a week in 2011.
The Aratere is one of three Interislander ferries operated by
- Matthew Backhouse of APNZ