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Govt won’t fund $150m, so move on

Letter

Re: ‘Fix the track, give it back' — May 27 article.

We are going into year 10 now since the line was closed, and I guess the Gisborne Rail Action Group (GRAG) has been formed for eight years.

KiwiRail CEO Greg Miller should tell the Government the $600,000 Berl report's $36 million cost and 18 months to open the Gisborne to Wairoa line was just a joke, it's more like $150m-plus . . . will they foot the bill?

The answer will be “No”, so give up on it and the GRAG can get on the steam train and travel out to Muriwai as often as they like. Or get on a rail bike and ride to Beach Loop — now, that is an amazing trip.

The GRAG may even wake up and see how they have been wasting time and taxpayers' money trying to get the line rebuilt.

Get Mayor Stoltz plus the few supporters to go as well. They may see that the line to Beach Loop will not take the weight of a steam engine or a small loaded train.

On May 19 TGH ran a photo of a KiwiRail train travelling along Blacks Beach in March 2012. A former council planner had told councillors to seize the opportunity to restore rail. Like the Mayor and the GRAG, he hasn't got a clue how much damage there is.

GRAG's Gillian Ward took over two-thirds of your story, and also instigated the May 27 article with Maurice Fraser, civil engineer of Fraser Geologics-Total Rail Solutions — whose suggestion was welcomed by Mayor Stoltz. I guess he was trying to justify the $36m and 18 months to open.

Gillian, Mayor Stoltz and your reporter should sit down with Mr Fraser and a photo of the Tikiwhata blowout, and ask how he is going to get a rail line across the 70m gap that is 50m deep? How long will it take? How much will it cost?

Your reporter should also visit me — I can show him a heap of information the Gisborne public are not getting access to from GRAG.

I can also prove why it will take $150m and four years.

Gisborne, you need a public meeting.

Merv Goodley

  1. J.S Dow, Railwayman, NSW says:

    Merv, with regard to moving on, I think it is high time that you did!!
    Your continued claptrap and character assassination re others’ facts and opinions on the railway line is sensationalist to say the least. I have sat on the sidelines for the past couple of years while you have talked your talk and this latest diatribe has prompted me to say enough is enough!! You are singlehandedly undermining the chances of the line being reinstated with your half-truths and outright lies, such as the assertion you made a while back which went something like, the wagons were empty both ways as they sounded empty!! Mate, what a load of tosh!! Get out of the road and let those who do know the facts get on with the job of getting this line reopened as soon as possible for the good of all in Tairawhiti!

    1. Winston Moreton says:

      Mr G has reached rock bottom and he’s still digging.

  2. Richard says:

    One cannot question the resolve of MG, but like the old MG cars his anti rail propaganda is unreliable.

    He is not a qualified or even experienced rail engineer, rail technologist, geologist, structural engineer, or materials specialist. He cannot present substantive validated independent evidence to support his so called “proof.”

  3. Ramon Sanders Snr says:

    Bravo!!! Thank you!!!! There are multiple dropouts and slips on to the track. Christ! I lived in Rotorua, a tourism hub, and that rail link is mothballed – why the hell would they bother with our one? It would be at the expense of our terrible roads!!!!

    1. PJ Reed says:

      Our roads are terrible due to the heavy traffic using them. It would be pertinent to research the effect of one loaded truck against a car. “A fully loaded tractor-trailer at 80,000 pounds, and a typical passenger car at 4,000 pounds. That’s 20 times difference in weight, but the wear and tear caused by the truck is exponentially greater.” Although this is from an American study, the principle remains.

  4. Clive Bibby says:

    I can swear with the best of them but have tried to not express myself “taking the Lord’s name in vain.”
    That doesn’t make me a better person than those who do. It’s just a personal thing.
    However, I do get irritated when the editor sanctions abuse of Christian values in this newspaper, although that is only because he obviously doesn’t see it as offensive behaviour – robust commentary perhaps!
    However, I wonder what would happen if we had a rush of derogatory language and jokes aimed at the Muslim faith. Can’t imagine this paper publishing anything of that nature.
    Smacks of hypocrisy don’t you think?