One of the new chinese built DL locos came to town the other day for ride and clearance testing. First impressions you may ask?? 
Cheap and nasty! 
From my point of view these things are just bad news. Your range of vision is severely limited both out the front and to the sides. The cabs are full of gimmicks  like a chiller box, cordless jug and microwave among other things. Apparently they have air conditioning too, but I didnt get the chance to have a play with that.
The pictures above shows the data screens and duplex gauges....
The control stand above shows the throttle, reverser and gaggle of switches, mostly for headlights and sundry items. The brake levers are on the other side of the cab.
And a broader view of the drivers side of the cab. With the seat moved back into the normal operating position its impossible to get out the door on that side. 
The brake levers can be seen by the side window.
Another "interesting" feature was the digital fuel gauge on the side of the loco. The last time I saw one of those was in the cab of DXR 8007, and it didnt work, so its hard to remain positive about these ones....
But, the most interesting bits to stick out for me was the huge rust bubble around the windscreen wiper mechanism (this loco is not even a year old yet) and the fact that the paint was falling off in several places...
Mmm rust!
Paint falling off.
At the time of writing, the DL's have now had 12 full days of revenue service running trains in the mythical Auckland - Hamilton - Tauranga golden triangle, but most days several of the locos end up failing for a multitude of reasons.
This from the NZ Locomotives group...
"395 - DL 9170 (Mission Bush - Mount Maunganui)
 323 - DL 9008 (Westfield - Mount Maunganui)
 MP2 - DL 9037 (Mount Maunganui - Te Rapa)
 322 - DL 9020 (Mount Maunganui - Te Rapa)
 481 - DL 9014 + DC 4571 (Kinleith - Mount Maunganui)
 377 - DL 9008 (Mount Maunganui - Kawerau)
 482 - DL 9014 + DC 4571 (Mount Maunganui - Kinleith)
 372 - DL 9008 (Kawerau - Mount Maunganui)
 324 - DL 9008 (Mount Maunganui - Westfield)
 483 - DL 9014 + DC 4571 (Kinleith - Mount Maunganui)
 136 - DL 9037 (Te Rapa - Mission Bush)
 480 - DL 9014 + DC 4571 (Mount Maunganui - Kinleith)
 395 - DL 9037 (Mission Bush - Mount Maunganui)

 By days end, 9020 and 9170 were out of service, leaving 9008, 9014 and 9037
 soldiering on. Not sure, but 9170 may have made its way back to Te Rapa after running 395."

Its so very hard to remain positive about these locos, and I fear we will be stuck with 40 lemons for the sake of saving a few bucks and protecting our trade agreements with China.
Thankfully we in the Taranaki are last on the list for training and the company has no real intentions of using the DL's up here for some time yet.
I am told they may end up on milk trains next season, but IMHO they have a long way to go before they should be allowed to run over the MNPL with fully loaded trains, especially if they keep failing on the flat land tracks of the Waikato!!

So for me, I will be making the most of my time driving DXB's and DFT's (and variants of) before they dissapear...