Rail study funding welcome

LETTER

The Green Party has long campaigned to reopen the Gisborne to Napier rail line and believes regional rail for freight and possibly passenger transport is key infrastructure for economic development.

We welcome the feasibility study funding and believe it is an important step forward.

The original decision to close the line was a shortsighted one based on false economies.

If the line is reopened for freight it will take trucks off the road and will be good for jobs and regional connectivity. I congratulate the community groups who have relentlessly organised and pushed for many years to reopen the line.

Gareth Hughes

Green MP

The Green Party has long campaigned to reopen the Gisborne to Napier rail line and believes regional rail for freight and possibly passenger transport is key infrastructure for economic development.

We welcome the feasibility study funding and believe it is an important step forward.

The original decision to close the line was a shortsighted one based on false economies.

If the line is reopened for freight it will take trucks off the road and will be good for jobs and regional connectivity. I congratulate the community groups who have relentlessly organised and pushed for many years to reopen the line.

Gareth Hughes

Green MP

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Richard - 9 days ago
The rail line will not be feasible if it is only rebuilt to convey freight. Those volumes alone will not sustain the line's annual maintenance costs. The line needs to be relaid to support the fast (not high-speed) smooth conveyance of modern passenger rolling stock. The combined freight and passenger traffic volumes will return revenues that will contribute substantially to the annual maintenance of the line.

And, I sincerely trust that the Minister appoints an independent offshore consultancy to conduct the feasibility study because as we have witnessed in the past, both the KiwiRail and BERL studies were highly partisan in their corresponding inputs and conclusions based on historical data.

Today's study needs to examine the market potential(s) of both freight and passenger of the here and now, and look over the horizon on a 10-year forecast. It must disregard historical data because the NZ rail business was deliberately run to ruin by both government policies, and management teams that lacked vision. Together those two parties were totally incompetent.

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