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Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to witness rail milestone

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff and councillors will be there tomorrow(Wednesday 6 June) to witness a significant milestone towards the eventual reinstatement of the log service linking Wairoa with the Port.

The first train in six years will travel along the Napier to Wairoa railway line tomorrow between Napier and Eskdale delivering ballast as part of the project to reopen the line.

The Government has to date earmarked $5 million dollars from its Provincial Growth Fund to repair the line to allow a low-speed forestry service to operate between Wairoa and Napier. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, KiwiRail and Napier Port have been discussing the reinstatement of the mothballed line for several years.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Group Manager Strategic Development Tom Skerman says while credit should go to KiwiRail for achieving this important milestone, it’s timely to acknowledge Councillor Alan Dick, who is chairman of the Regional Transport Committee, for his vision, perseverance and advocacy for the reinstatement of the service.

“With Central Government behind the project our focus now is to support the establishment of a commercial operation on the line. We expect this to deliver many regional benefits, such as resilience of the transport network, effective managing of the anticipated growth in demand for log transport, and reducing the carbon footprint associated with the logistics of harvest,” says Mr Skerman.

He says the Council continues to work proactively with the key stakeholders.

5 June 2018

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