Napier banner 640x800

Napier to Wairoa

KiwiRail is reopening the Napier to Wairoa rail line, to take heavy forestry trucks off regional roads and deliver economic growth in the region.

After the Napier - Gisborne Line was badly damaged by a storm in March 2012, the line was mothballed, because the cost of repairing and maintaining it far exceeded its commercial value at the time.

But as New Zealand’s “Wall of Wood” comes onstream with log tonnages projected to peak at 44 million tonnes in 2032/33, KiwiRail with the help of the Provincial Growth Fund has invested to reopen the line between Napier and Wairoa.

Widespread benefits

Using the Napier-Wairoa line to move logs is good for the region, the environment and New Zealand.

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.

Using the Wairoa-Napier line to move the logs could take up to 5,714 trucks a year off the road, and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 1300 tonnes.

Mohaka Viaduct work train 960x555

A work train travels across the picturesque Mohaka Viaduct in 2018.

Napier to Wairoa Timeline v7
First work train

In June 2018, the project reached a milestone with the first work train in six years travelling on the Napier - Wairoa line. On-board was Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.

First work train 960x540

Raupunga wash-out

In September 2018, severe weather in Hawke’s Bay caused a significant washout of around 45m track just north of Raupunga.

It took several months to reinstate the embankment and reconnect the track, with work trains once again able to travel through the area from April 2019.

The photo on the left was taken shortly after the slip occurred, in September 2017, with the second photo taken in the same location just six months later.

Before and after 960x540