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Tranz Rail Meeting 'Positive' - Hutt City Mayor

Tranz Rail Meeting 'Positive' - Hutt City Mayor

Hutt City Mayor John Terris said a meeting held yesterday with Tranz Rail over several matters to do with the company's freight and passenger operations in Hutt City, triggered by the rail company's lifting of tracks in the economically important Seaview/Gracefield industrial area, was 'positive' and constructive. Representatives of the WRC, Centre Port and the Ministry of Transport were also invited and were present.'

"My main concern, and the reason that I requested the meeting with Tranz Rail, was the process by which Tranz Rail arrived at the decision to lift the tracks and the lack of consultation with my council or local businesses, including Centre Port," said Mayor Terris

"I am now satisfied that we have agreed on a process of consultation over future decisions that could impact on Hutt City's future economic development."

Tranz Rail Managing Director Michael Beard gave an assurance that the company would develop a formal process to ensure ongoing dialogue between Tranz Rail, Hutt City Council and other interested parties.

"This will give all interested parties an opportunity to have input into future decisions and provide greater certainty for planning long term infrastructure requirements," said Michael Beard.

Tranz Rail indicated it would retain the Gracefield marshalling yard with two main lines. The sidings that are currently being lifted are redundant sidings. Tranz Rail are considering the possible development of the marshalling yard into a modern container transfer site and are in discussion with the Wellington Regional Council on its potential viability.

The second issue identified by Mayor Terris was a request from the Regional Mayors Group to establish a group to which both Local Government and Tranz Rail would contribute support, to act as a clearing house for issues involving commuter passengers.

"I am pleased to report that Tranzrail thought this was a good idea and that they would be willing to participate".

The last issue was the Melling Line; its continuing existence had been questioned. "I can also state categorically that Tranz Rail has no intention of closing the Melling commuter line," said Mr Beard.

The meeting, held on Monday 10 February, was attended by Michael Beard, Managing Director of Tranz Rail and Murray King Strategic advisor to Tranz Rail. Also in attendance were Mayor John Terris, Hutt City CEO Rik Hart, Hutt City General Manager Asset Management Stuart Duncan and City Development Manager (HCC) Gary Craig.

Ken Harris CEO Centre Port, Roger Toleman deputy secretary Ministry of Transport and Murray Kennedy, Strategy & Asset Manager Water, Wellington Regional Council also attended.

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