Need for care as trains start running to Wairoa

22 June 2018 4:04PM

Trains will begin running the full distance on the line from Napier to Wairoa for the first time in six years next week.


“Work trains are crucial to getting the line open and carrying logs again,” says KiwiRail Group General Manager Network Services Henare Clarke.
 
“The trains will be running along the length of the line as part of our work programme.
 
“That includes travelling over the Mohaka viaduct, the tallest viaduct in Australasia.
 
“They will be delivering sleepers, and are a sign of the good progress we are making in getting the line ready to carry logs again.
 
“The progress we are making means that people need to be extremely careful around the rail corridor and when using level crossings as there has been little activity on the line for the last six years.
 
“It is not only work trains that are moving on the line, but also hi-rail vehicles - vehicles that go on rail.  We should all treat the corridor as ‘live’ at all times.
 
“This is an important project for the region, for New Zealand and for KiwiRail. It lifts the regional economy. It makes the roads safer by taking logging trucks off roads that were not designed to cope with growing volumes. It helps the environment by cutting carbon emissions - every tonne of freight carried by rail is a 66% emissions saving over heavy road freight.
 
“KiwiRail estimates that using the Wairoa-Napier line to move the logs could take more than 5500 trucks a year off the road, and cut carbon emissions by 1292 tonnes,” Mr Clarke says.
 
The line is expected to be ready for logging trains by the end of the year.
 
It is being re-opened by KiwiRail using $5 million of funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, and will be used to transport logs to Napier. The work is expected to take two years to fully complete.
 
TrackSAFE Foundation Manager Megan Drayton says “people need to understand they must stay off railway tracks, and cross only at level crossings”.
 
“Always slow down as you’re approaching a level crossing and be prepared to stop.
 
“Look out for trains, obey the signs and signals at crossings and always stay off the tracks.
 
“Trains are deceptively quiet and they can't stop in a hurry or swerve to avoid anything on the tracks,” she says.
 
The line is expected to be ready for logging trains by the end of the year.
 
It is being re-opened by KiwiRail using $5 million of funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, and will be used to transport logs to Napier. The work is expected to take two years to fully complete.
 

For more information contact:

Simon Kilroy                                                                                      
KiwiRail Senior Communications Advisor
027 405 6800