Work on Wairoa – Napier line hits milestone
01 May 2018
The project to re-open the Wairoa-Napier rail line takes a significant step forward today (Tuesday 1 May) with track gangs beginning work on the line.
“This is an important milestone,” KiwiRail Group General Manager Network Services Henare Clarke says.
“We’ve had structures staff working on the bridges, and contractors clearing vegetation, but this is the first time we’ve had track staff on the line.
“They will be re-sleepering the track. This is a vital part of getting it ready to go again,” Mr Clarke says.
The five-person gang is based in Palmerston North.
Severe weather in March caused some extra damage to the line but KiwiRail was still confident it would have the line ready for trains to run by the end of the year.
Mr Clarke reminded people of the need to take extra care around the line now that work was moving into full swing.
“The work will see an increase in movements along the track.
“Everyone needs to expect trains and other rail vehicles using the line at any time from either direction.
“They should only cross the line at level crossings – to cross the line anywhere else is both dangerous and illegal,” Mr Clarke says.
The line is being re-opened by KiwiRail using funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, and will be used to transport logs to Napier.
The Government has allocated $5 million to the project, which is expected to take two years to fully complete.
KiwiRail has estimated that 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 1292 tonnes.
“This is an important project for the region, and for KiwiRail, and we are committed to getting it done,” Mr Clarke says.