Railing logs to port an obvious solution

LETTER

Thank you to the Gisborne Herald editor for outlining the issues regarding getting logs into Eastland Port. Indeed, many people do wonder why logs are not being railed to the port from the Optilog plant and the Eastland Port log storage yard, both in Dunstan Road and adjacent to the existing rail line. This seems like an obvious opportunity to reduce the number of log truck movements through the city and in doing so, reduce the noise, vibration and particulate dust; improve the safety of Awapuni Road, and Ormond Road/The Esplanade; reduce the road maintenance cost; reduce the environmental impact of log movements; and improve the attractiveness and safety of the CBD.

The impacts of log trucks on the Gisborne community are very significant. There are currently more than 500 log truck movements through the Hirini Street/Wainui Road intersection and the addition of a second log ship berth at Eastland Port would increase this number.

Log truck drivers support the suggestion that logs be railed through town because driving this route is hazardous, stressful and slow.

Eastland Port was connected by rail for freight trains in the recent past. The rail line goes right into the port but is currently only used by the historic steam train when it collects cruise ship visitors. Only minor repairs are needed to allow freight train access into the port.

It seems extraordinary that New Zealand’s second largest log exporting port is not connected by rail. It is also a vulnerability for the port to be dependent on the roading network.

There has been concern expressed about freight train movements through Gisborne’s Inner Harbour, especially with the redevelopment creating a more people-oriented space.

This redevelopment is occurring within a working port environment.

It should be possible to make this a safe and attractive environment for people as well as a through route for freight trains, as is achieved in other cities, eg freight trains travel through Hastings City Square, and along The Strand in Tauranga beside playgrounds and parks. We are confident this could be achieved in Gisborne’s Inner Harbour.

Gillian Ward, Chairperson Gisborne Rail Action Group

Thank you to the Gisborne Herald editor for outlining the issues regarding getting logs into Eastland Port. Indeed, many people do wonder why logs are not being railed to the port from the Optilog plant and the Eastland Port log storage yard, both in Dunstan Road and adjacent to the existing rail line. This seems like an obvious opportunity to reduce the number of log truck movements through the city and in doing so, reduce the noise, vibration and particulate dust; improve the safety of Awapuni Road, and Ormond Road/The Esplanade; reduce the road maintenance cost; reduce the environmental impact of log movements; and improve the attractiveness and safety of the CBD.

The impacts of log trucks on the Gisborne community are very significant. There are currently more than 500 log truck movements through the Hirini Street/Wainui Road intersection and the addition of a second log ship berth at Eastland Port would increase this number.

Log truck drivers support the suggestion that logs be railed through town because driving this route is hazardous, stressful and slow.

Eastland Port was connected by rail for freight trains in the recent past. The rail line goes right into the port but is currently only used by the historic steam train when it collects cruise ship visitors. Only minor repairs are needed to allow freight train access into the port.

It seems extraordinary that New Zealand’s second largest log exporting port is not connected by rail. It is also a vulnerability for the port to be dependent on the roading network.

There has been concern expressed about freight train movements through Gisborne’s Inner Harbour, especially with the redevelopment creating a more people-oriented space.

This redevelopment is occurring within a working port environment.

It should be possible to make this a safe and attractive environment for people as well as a through route for freight trains, as is achieved in other cities, eg freight trains travel through Hastings City Square, and along The Strand in Tauranga beside playgrounds and parks. We are confident this could be achieved in Gisborne’s Inner Harbour.

Gillian Ward, Chairperson Gisborne Rail Action Group

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winston moreton - 14 days ago
Hear Hear! Worth saying again and again..."An obvious opportunity to reduce the number of log truck movements through the city and in doing so, reduce the noise, vibration and particulate dust; improve the safety of Awapuni Road, and Ormond Road/The Esplanade; reduce the road maintenance cost; reduce the environmental impact of log movements; and improve the attractiveness and safety of the CBD."

Mike Beale - 13 days ago
It's good to see concerns expressed about the amount of logging trucks coming through Gisborne city causing major damage to the roads and danger to the road-using public. It's unbelievable that there is a railway track leading right into the port and it is only used for the historic steam train on once-in-a-blue moon cruise ship visits. Come on GDC and Eastland Port, get your heads out of where the sun don't shine and get with the times. For less than the money you have wasted on inner harbour beautification, you could have brought the rail line back to life. Why would anyone have an intersection on the main artery through the city and have a give way on it stopping traffic for logging trucks? It's just crazy. I was in Tauranga the other day and watched a log train going along beside the highway and I thought to myself that's a lot of logging trucks that aren't polluting the air and causing problems in the city boundary.
By the way, just getting off the subject of human stupidity, that's a lot of concrete hanging off the side of the Gladstone Road Bridge, or am I just being a dumb old fart?
Come on Gizzy people, speak up and get your views out there. No point in moaning when it's too late.

Beverly Davy - 13 days ago
A no-brainer. At the moment logs are delivered by truck to the port, stored, then reloaded on more trucks to be taken alongside the ships. If they were brought in by train from Matawhero as needed they could be taken directly shipside without double handling. And without the need for logs to be stockpiled on what is probably the most valuable land in the city. It beggars belief that we should be storing logs on this historic and beautiful part of our city. And don't get me started on the movement of logging trucks that have been allowed to destroy property values in some of our suburbs. There may well be a case for litigation on this point alone.


Kieran, Hastings - 13 days ago
A far better and more sensible option then a new road with a tunnel.

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