A potential rail hub near Dannevirke could take 200,000 tonnes of logs of the regions roads, KiwiRail Deputy Chief Executive Todd Moyle says.
As part of a broader investment package across the Hawkes Bay, today Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced $400,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund for government officials to evaluate the potential of a new rail hub near Dannevirke and, if successful, up to $4 million for KiwiRail to build the hub at Tapuata.
Mr Moyle said KiwiRail has been considering a hub near Dannevirke for a while and it would take a lot of pressure off the regions’ roads as forestry harvests increased.
“We applaud the Government’s interest in a potential rail hub near Dannevirke and the staged approach is a sensible one. There is a strong case for a rail hub in that area and we will be working closely to support agencies with their evaluation.
“Dannevirke is only 37 kilometres from Titoki Forest, which is already transporting more than 50,000 tonnes of logs a year to Napier Port by road. With harvests expected to hit 200,000 tonnes in the coming years it makes sense to get as much of that volume on rail as possible.
“Not only does rail have 66 per cent fewer emissions per tonne than road transport, it would also reduce the number of logging trucks on the roads, improving road safety and saving in road maintenance costs which burden the local councils and NZTA.
“This opportunity is a great example of how different transport modes, road and rail, could work together for economic and social outcomes.
“KiwiRail is currently developing a forestry hub in Wairoa, as part of reopening the Napier to Wairoa rail line. A second hub at Dannevirke could be of huge benefit to the Hawke’s Bay.”