Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Thu 11/Jun/09 10:32am

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/ne ... borne-line wrote:KiwiRail is preparing what could be a final effort to keep the loss-making Napier-Gisborne rail line going.

The line - the only rail link out of Gisborne - carries just one train a week and there have been suggestions it should be turned into a tourist cycleway.

"We're not making any money on the line and there has been speculation that we might close it," KiwiRail commercial manager Aaron Temperton said. "But if you rip up the rails you lose the asset for ever."

Hopes of reviving the line now rest on a plan to make the line capable of carrying bigger "high-cube" containers by opening up two of the tunnels on the route.

A new investigation shows this could be done at relatively low cost.

The ability to carry bigger containers would make rail transport more attractive to many companies. "I'm planning to go to Gisborne for a few days and beat a path to as many prospective customers as we can find," Mr Temperton said. "I'll do that in the next few weeks.

"It's a chicken and egg situation - you can't get the business without the frequency, and you can't get the frequency without the business."

Containerised export goods, raw and processed timber, wine, meat and squash were among cargoes suitable for rail.

Mainline Steam Trust operations manager Michael Tolich said it would be "a huge loss" if the line was closed.

"We run excursions at least once a year, with a train brought up from Plimmerton. It's very scenic and in some ways it rivals the Tranz Alpine line in the South Island.

"We'd do more trips but KiwiRail charges us $30,000 or more each time. If we could get the costs down we could keep an engine in Napier and do regular trips."

The cycleway proposal was not realistic because the route included many climbs and tunnels, and cellphone and radio coverage was limited, Mr Tolich said.
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby chchbob on Thu 11/Jun/09 10:35am

Melissa_Theuriau wrote:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/ne ... borne-line wrote:The cycleway proposal was not realistic because the route included many climbs and tunnels, and cellphone and radio coverage was limited, Mr Tolich said.


Ummm why do we need cellphone and radio coverage??? I can see where tunnels could be an issue, but not insurmountable considering there is only 1 train a week, and do they not realise that some people actively look for climbs when biking???? :crazy: :crazy:
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby Tama on Thu 11/Jun/09 10:44am

chchbob wrote:
Melissa_Theuriau wrote:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/ne ... borne-line wrote:The cycleway proposal was not realistic because the route included many climbs and tunnels, and cellphone and radio coverage was limited, Mr Tolich said.


Ummm why do we need cellphone and radio coverage??? I can see where tunnels could be an issue, but not insurmountable considering there is only 1 train a week, and do they not realise that some people actively look for climbs when biking???? :crazy: :crazy:

But slight inclines are hurty on my legs, tunnels are dark and scary and I might not be able to listen/ call in to talkback radio while cycling from Napier to Gisborne :eh:
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby Naff on Thu 11/Jun/09 10:56am

Who wants to go to Gisborne anyways? It's a big pile of poos! :)
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby thorg on Thu 11/Jun/09 10:58am

Naff wrote:Who wants to go to Gisborne anyways? It's a big pile of poos! :)
It's for people to leave Gissy - not everyone can afford cars :-D
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby chchbob on Thu 11/Jun/09 10:58am

Tama wrote:But slight inclines are hurty on my legs, tunnels are dark and scary and I might not be able to listen/ call in to talkback radio while cycling from Napier to Gisborne :eh:


:lol: Tama, no good ever came from listening to talkback radio ... :lol: :lol: Man up hurty legs are character building :crazy: :crazy:

And possibly if you only ever ride in the city CELLPHONE coverage is really important, so you can phone ahead for your next Latte and avoid the queue ..... :lol: :lol:
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby Naff on Thu 11/Jun/09 11:05am

thorg wrote:
Naff wrote:Who wants to go to Gisborne anyways? It's a big pile of poos! :)
It's for people to leave Gissy - not everyone can afford cars :-D


Why would non-Gisbornites want people from gisborne leaving?
they're all half wit inbreds.. keep 'em locked in I say!
Geez... the only people from Gisborne i know need to locked away forever! :crazy:
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby thorg on Thu 11/Jun/09 11:16am

Naff wrote:
thorg wrote:
Naff wrote:Who wants to go to Gisborne anyways? It's a big pile of poos! :)
It's for people to leave Gissy - not everyone can afford cars :-D


Why would non-Gisbornites want people from gisborne leaving?
they're all half wit inbreds.. keep 'em locked in I say!
Geez... the only people from Gisborne i know need to locked away forever! :crazy:
I'd like to tie lock you up some time :rolleyes:
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby Naff on Thu 11/Jun/09 11:39am

I'll be getting Handcuffs soon!
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby footprints on Thu 11/Jun/09 1:00pm

Whats a cycleway dude?

Gissyite :p
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby duzall on Thu 11/Jun/09 9:02pm

Melissa_Theuriau wrote:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/ne ... borne-line wrote:The cycleway proposal was not realistic because the route included many climbs and tunnels, and cellphone and radio coverage was limited, Mr Tolich said.


What a lame excuse. I don't recall there being much cellphone coverage on the otago rail trail when we did it. Any gradient that a normal train can run on would be easy to ride on.

The major problem I have with rail trails is that they tend to be pretty boring because they don't have climbs or corners.
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby thekiwi on Wed 24/Jun/09 3:29pm

http://www.bay2bay-railtrail.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Bay2 Bay
Bay2Bay is the unofficial name given to what we hope will be a stunning cycle and walking facility between Napier and Gisborne.

The plan is to establish a trust to progress the development of a rail trail between Poverty Bay (starting/ending Gisborne - New Zealand North Island East Coast) to Hawke Bay (starting/ending Napier City - New Zealand North Island East Coast) 200kms apart.

For many years the Napier to Gisborne rail line has not made money for the owners, past and present. Kiwi Rail is the current owner/operator, Kiwi Rail’s number one shareholder is the New Zealand Government.

The rail line is the only rail link out of Gisborne, used by just one train a week.

Yes it's still a rail line, but we believe the alternative, a walking/rail trail, a tourism facility similar to what has been created in Central Otago - the Central Otago Rail Trail - would help stimulate the economy, help transform tourism, bolster the numerous rural communities between Gisborne and Napier, improve the environment and keep Kiwis and tourists fitter.

The first step is to establish a trust, The Bay2Bay Rail Trail Trust (a name given by a keen Wellington Cyclist). Once established the Trust would commission a economic feasibility study on an Rail/walking trail for this isolated East Coast region, then lobby for such a facility to be built. We do not envisage a trail built along side the existing rail line, we envisage it replacing the rail line. A line for walkers and cyclists, not trains. In other words using the existing rail corridor.

The current Napier to Gisborne rail line is "sacrosanct" according to Mr A Dick chairman of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council and chairman of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Land Transport Committee, "It will never be a rail trail". We hope he is wrong. Once established the Bay2Bay Rail Trail Trust will provide strong evidence for a viable alternative to rail.

Interested in supporting the soon to be established Bay2Bay Rail Trail Trust please contact Brian Fisher
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Re: Cycleway Proposed For Napier Gisborne Rail Line

Postby thekiwi on Wed 24/Jun/09 3:32pm

We had an earlier article in the local newspaper:
http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/Default ... 2&id=10358

Railway line eyed as cycleway for tourists
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
By Marianne Gillingham

Gisborne's railway line south could be given a new lease of life as a tourism facility, with confirmation yesterday that Gisborne-Napier is one of the routes being looked at as a cycleway.

The line is now carrying only one train a week and is not on the schedule to be upgraded for the high-format containers required for modern shipping.

To meet this configuration would mean extensive modifications to somewhere between 15 and 20 tunnels along this route.

Tourism New Zealand is promoting the line as a side-route to the $50 million cycleway proposal that came out of Prime Minister John Key's job summit.

A similar route along the railway corridor in Central Otago - the "Rail Trail" - attracts between 10,000 and 12,000 people a year, bringing new vitality to small communities from Clyde to Middlemarch.

Opening up the Gisborne-Napier line would do similar things in this region, said BikeNZ development manager John Willmer.

Tourism New Zealand was meeting Ontrack today to discuss the proposal, which is still in its very early stage.

Tourism New Zealand figures show that of the 2,469,000 visitors to New Zealand last year, 45,000 took part in cycling. Cycling tourists stayed more than twice as long as other international tourists and spent almost twice as much.

BikeNZ believes the Gisborne-Napier railway corridor would be a tremendous asset for tourism here.

It provides a great route away from traffic. It has a good gradient, which would be easy to ride, and it has great scenery.

Using the corridor does not mean the line would have to be removed or sealed.

Cycleways could be formed from hard-packed gravel, which was already present alongside many parts of the railway corridor and in other places it might be physically possible to put it within the lines.

Ontrack spokesman Kevin Ramshaw would not comment on the financial viability of the line but confirmed it now carries only one train a week - to Gisborne and back to Napier - which is well below what Ontrack wants.

Mr Willmer said the local concept would depend on the community's view.

At present only a small part of the line is regularly used by Gisborne's Wa 165 steam train, but there are at least one or two larger steam excursions via Napier here each year.

Mr Willmer believes the safety aspect would have to be well thought out if the line is used for cycling in conjunction with a train movement.
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