Release date looms for rail line report

An independent look into the KiwiRail information that prompted the closure of the Gisborne to Napier line is finished and should be released early next month. Gisborne District Council councillor and rail advocate Manu Caddie said the specialist rail engineering report was now complete and very thorough.

"Berl has nearly all the information they require, KiwiRail has co-operated, answered questions and provided information requested direct to Berl. We are waiting on some final information after a couple of meetings next week - so we expect Berl will be able to present a draft report by the end of next week," he said.

The draft report would be peer-reviewed by another international economic consultancy and Gisborne Rail Action Group members before being finalised for release, hopefully in the first or second week of December, he said.

Mr Caddie was behind the fundraising drive that raised more than $14,000 to pay for the independent economic analysis.

The Government announced it would mothball the line between Gisborne and Napier on November 8 but the line from Wairoa south was now staying open until Christmas. The railway north of Wairoa has been closed since March when a severe storm caused washouts in the Kopuawhara-Beach Loop area - about halfway between Gisborne and Wairoa.

KiwiRail has been running twice-weekly services as far as Wairoa since the washout to collect product from Clyde Lumber.

This followed a request from Clyde Lumber owner John Ebbett, to allow more time for changes to be made at the sawmill and avoid redundancies.


-Gisborne Herald

- Hawkes Bay Today

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