It’s a rebuild, not repairs
Re: Rail about opportunities, March 24 letter.
Meredith, you say you are aware of the damage to the Gisborne to Wairoa rail link. Does this mean you and the Rail Action Group have physically surveyed the damage from Gizzy to Nuhaka? I have my doubts.
Please answer this question; don’t drift off to Motu, or the port. The subject is the dead rail link that I am saying will never be rebuilt.
It is not about the cost of the line repairs, it is about the cost of the rebuild. It has been nine years, so to get your dreams going you need structural engineering plans drawn up, and probably overseas engineers brought in. Then you can get a fairly true estimated cost to rebuild the rail link. I would hate to think what that exercise would cost — way more than the $600,000 that it cost for the Berl report. Time frame to get this going? At least one year.
My opinion is you cannot spend $200 million on an uneconomic rail link for it to continually slip into the river or the ocean. When you have 500 trucks a week going past Nuhaka climbing to 700 in three years time, the only way out is to pour money into the Gizzy to Napier road structure. Heaps more passing lanes etc. To get more trucks off the road you may have to slip in coastal freighters.
Before the rail link died a huge expense went into lowering the rail lines through the tunnels. After that my observation was quite often 12 to 16 containers passing through Kopuawhara each day, some of them empty.
I suggest Meredith, instead of wasting time sitting in an office discussing the rail link, book the rail bikes and ride the Opoutama to Nuhaka line, then the Muriwai to Beach loop run. Shout May Ruby and I will come as well. Then you will have grounds for organising a public meeting then the big march.
If your dream is to have the link open, my guess is you would be lucky to take 100 trucks off the road per week.