Let’s get behind cycle rail trail now

LETTER

About a year ago I wrote a letter to The Gisborne Herald wherein I made the statement that even a Labour Government would not be dumb enough to reinstate the Gisborne to Napier rail line. Well, what do you know, not only they, but New Zealand First, have also shown a business acumen that bodes well for the future direction of the economy.

To the Luddites and dingbats who keep quoting the BERL report, let me suggest that research firms always slant their reports to please whomever is paying the bill.

Perhaps now we can all get in behind Meng Foon and work towards the exciting prospect of a cycle rail trail from Gisborne to Wairoa. This rail trail can accommodate Wa165 for part of the line, in conjunction with adapted bikes — a venture with a huge potential.

Paul Gretton

About a year ago I wrote a letter to The Gisborne Herald wherein I made the statement that even a Labour Government would not be dumb enough to reinstate the Gisborne to Napier rail line. Well, what do you know, not only they, but New Zealand First, have also shown a business acumen that bodes well for the future direction of the economy.

To the Luddites and dingbats who keep quoting the BERL report, let me suggest that research firms always slant their reports to please whomever is paying the bill.

Perhaps now we can all get in behind Meng Foon and work towards the exciting prospect of a cycle rail trail from Gisborne to Wairoa. This rail trail can accommodate Wa165 for part of the line, in conjunction with adapted bikes — a venture with a huge potential.

Paul Gretton

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w gerrard - 1 month ago
Sorry Paul but I am not in support of this cycle rail trail. I hope the line is reinstated for railcars and freight, and the Wa165 can then go further than it currently does. As for you calling the Labour Government dumb enough to reinstate the line from Gisborne to Wairoa, I think the National Government were the dumb ones in not fixing our rail line in the first place. No, they wasted taxpayer dollars on roads. Rail is part of infrastructure like roads and should be supported.

lloyd gretton - 1 month ago
So the Luddites want the train service. I think it was Edith Bunker who was called a dingbat. We should all get on our bikes. I mean adapted bikes.

John Fricker - 1 month ago
In response to the headline, Let's not.
Although, now I think about it, if the railway line was fully reinstated the number of cyclists in our district would radically diminish if Mr Gretton's plan went ahead.
Maybe I'm a "let's" after all!

Richard - 1 month ago
The BERL report should never be used as a foundation for the reinstatement of the rail line as the data therein is too historic to be of any value.

And, those who call for the trackbed to be turned over to any use other than for the purpose it was originally built for: the conveyance of freight and communities - are indeed the Luddites of the local electorate and council officials.

There is no hard evidence that an adult Ned Ludd ever existed but there is admissible proof that possibly a young boyish apprentice Edward Ludlam was, following the outbreak of rioting in Leicestershire, used as a bona-fide by the authorities to introduce tougher, brutal labour laws on the back of reported damage to stocking frames: The Destruction of Stocking Frames, Act 1812. Thereafter the cause-celeb "Luddism" was born. A case of fact (damaged machinery - but by whom exactly) morphing into a grand fiction that now wholly rests as fact in the eyes of the populous, and abused accordingly by those who, in this instance, cannot see further beyond the here and now.

The Luddites of the East Cape are those who seek to take away the most environmentally sensitive and productive means of the distribution of goods and people. Next you'll be calling for pack mules to be given a priority lane along the trackbed - then, as volumes of merchandise increase, you'll call for a horse and cart lane. One day, due to lack of capacity, you'll seek investors to relay the line, bleating loudly that we need a train. By which time industry, commerce and folk will have migrated from Gisborne to other regions which, due to their progressive vision, have already established a multimodal, high-capacity and efficient transport infrastructure.

Footnote from Ed: The operator who won the tender process for leasing the line from Gisborne to Wairoa, Gisborne Railbike Adventures, plans to use adapted bikes on the existing rails - so no removal or covering of tracks, but maintenance of the line.

Richard - 1 month ago
Editor: One is aware of the GRA, and also aware that sections of the rail either do not exist or are hanging in midair. Track will have to be relaid to run a train. Nonetheless - it is the overall sentiment that I present in my original post.

Sean Lynch, Pukekohe - 1 month ago
Me too Paul,

I do not support you and we must fully reinstate this rail line from Wairoa to Gisborne. This line should never be used for anything else but rail as it is a very valuable asset.

Just because our previous National Government are anti-rail and see more value in more trucks on our roads and killing off our railway, it does not make it right.

Years down the track, Governments will regret uplifting other rail's lines around the country. As they see it, it will save money - but in real terms the railway actually saves the Government money by not spending more on roads and fewer road accidents with freight being transported by rail. Governments will come to their senses. The only way to deal with global warming is to invest in rail. Some lines will have to be re-laid and extended.

Yes Gisborne needs jobs, tourists, new businesses - and rail is the answer. We have just got to put more pressure on our new Government to make it happen.

The Napier to Gisborne Line is a very scenic route running along the coastline, and the new tourist operater that's starting up here in New Zealand shortly they will want the line reinstated back to Gisborne.



Michael Nicholson, Paekakariki - 1 month ago
The railway should most definitely be re-enstated all the way to Gisborne, otherwise the region will be doomed to larger and larger numbers of killer trucks on the roads.
The region deserves world-class infrastructure in order to develop markets and provide transport diversity and resilience. Rail needs to be a part of the total transport solution.
When opened railway could also play a role in the developing passenger rail tourism sector, such as the luxury sleeper touring train being built / Dominion Post Rail Tours / heritage rail tours run by various operators / a possible regular KiwiRail service such as the Northern Explorer.
Mayor Meng Foon is selling the region short by promoting this "think small" bike thing - as for luddites, Paul Gretton certainly displays out of touch and old-fashioned attitudes towards the rail industry; the rest of the world is embracing rail and investing in the industry - NZ needs to reopen the Gisborne line and invest in the Gisborne region!

Niall Robertson, Auckland - 1 month ago
The line makes more sense when rail is funded the same way as roads. Road user charges from trucks, fuel excise tax from cars and line user charges from rail operators. The line needs to be part of the national transport network infrastructure like roads and funded as such by the government. When the line closed for want of $5 million from KiwiRail, NZTA spent the same amount in the following six months for truck-passing lanes. One a business, the other a government agency. This needs to change. Trucks cause all the damage to roads and bridges, and get subsidised by car motorists. Rail should also be subsidised by car motorists as trains bring about less congestion on the roads, less truck hazards, less damage and, for the planet, less emissions. KiwiRail [and other operators] could then concentrate on running their business[s] and make profits like road transport operators. This line should do well with freight going forward, as well as serving developments in the region, and is a strategic destination for a national tourist rail venture with a market that is growing year by year. We need to keep the entire railway network to not only serve the regions, but to create great journeys and destinations for the growing international tourist market! Gisborne will do well if it supports proper use of the rail corridor. Also of note, the roads in this region will never stand up to any significant increases in use and will always be a challenge to negotiate for transport operators and motorists alike. Incidentally, Luddites are the anti-rail people in 2018.

Colleen - 1 month ago
No, let's not. We need and deserve to have a rail link to our region. Meng Foon is seriously wrong and is badly representing the wishes of this community.

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    See also:
    April 21 editorial, The local share of roads spending