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Let’s get freight on to railway

Opinion Piece

I challenge anyone who is against reinstating the railway between Gisborne and Napier to actually drive there and back as I did recently, and still maintain that the rail should be left to rot.

On the way south I was shocked by the number of large trucks on the road and the number of roadworks under way: a connection there perhaps. It was not funny to be sandwiched between two juggernauts, or to be stuck behind a monster going uphill at 20kmh with no prospect of passing and a string of traffic behind.

On my way home I counted the big trucks or trucks and trailers coming towards me and came to a total of 91. This was from 3.30pm-6.30pm and presumably there would be a similar number between any three daylight hours. Surely rail could reduce that inordinate number?

I recall going by railcar to Wellington many times in the past — on the old, red, shiny uncomfortable seats, with bottles and tins and kids rolling up and down the hard floor, but the scenery was spectacular.

A comfortable train with a dining car could make this a tourist attraction equal to other popular train trips in New Zealand. Add to this the fact that one train engine can tow many truckloads, when we are trying to reduce the amount of fossil fuel used, and it seems to me that it is important and sensible to repair and reuse the railway.

G.R. Watson