All pledged to reopen rail, so why not do it?

LETTER

When it comes to rail in Gisborne, broken promises and being forgotten about seem to be the order of the day.

Ever since the first line was built out of Gisborne, which was intended to link with Auckland via Rotorua, promises have been broken by politicians — with this line being uncompleted beyond Moutohora and then wastefully closed and lifted.

More recently, before the previous election all the political parties now in Government said they wanted the line from Napier to Gisborne reopened (it was closed by storm damage in 2012). So why is the line only being reopened to Wairoa? What about Gisborne?

Are they going to surprise us all and instead relay and complete the line through to the Bay of Plenty? Unlikely. Forgotten again.

R. Jones

When it comes to rail in Gisborne, broken promises and being forgotten about seem to be the order of the day.

Ever since the first line was built out of Gisborne, which was intended to link with Auckland via Rotorua, promises have been broken by politicians — with this line being uncompleted beyond Moutohora and then wastefully closed and lifted.

More recently, before the previous election all the political parties now in Government said they wanted the line from Napier to Gisborne reopened (it was closed by storm damage in 2012). So why is the line only being reopened to Wairoa? What about Gisborne?

Are they going to surprise us all and instead relay and complete the line through to the Bay of Plenty? Unlikely. Forgotten again.

R. Jones

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Phil Hunt - 2 months ago
Not to the B of P, but yes the line to Wairoa should be reopened. The $1 billion over two years to KiwiRail in the Budget should only be the start. Under successive governments rail has been woefully neglected, but it seems there is a will with the Labour coalition Government to address that.
Electrification of the remaining parts of the North Island Main Trunk is well overdue, and Hamilton to Tauranga is worth a viability study.
In the Wellington region, doubling the track Upper Hutt to Masterton (not including the Rimutaka tunnel) and electrification would make economic sense with the extra heavy log trains and a better, faster passenger service would, I am sure, be welcome in the Wairarapa. There is much to do, and economic planners must understand that ever more roads is no longer the answer!

Phil Hunt, Picton - 2 months ago
Further to my recent post I should point out that a line to the Bay of Plenty would never have been a realistic goal.
If you look at the country between here and, say, Taneatua, then the only way to keep the grades manageable for a reasonably heavy train to negotiate would be extensive tunnelling. Even in the 1930s when the unemployed did a massive amount of Public Works (the PWD), the cost could never have been justified.
The aspiration was political, plain and simple!
Modern technology could easily do the job, but the cost to benefit ratio would still point to it not being justifiable.

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