Rimutaka Rail Trail Closure

Postby recrider on Thu 17/Nov/11 8:50am

Couldn't find this topic in any other posts hence started this new one.

There is a proposal to rebuild the Rimutaka railway from Maymorn to Summit initially and with the ultimate aim of continuing all the way down the incline to Cross Creek. This would effectively close the current route to all walkers and cyclists. The plan is to build an alternative walk/cycleway but I have seen no details of how they intend doing this. Getting around the tunnels would be a major challenge and I would imagine this would involve some fairly steep gradients and/or steps. The current route (apart from Siberia) is great for cycling families but the new route could really kill this.

My understanding is that at least an initial decision is to be made on the railway proposal by Greater Wellington in mid-December. I haven't seen anything in the way of public consultation on this and it looks like it is being fast-tracked (excuse pun). The potential operators of the railway have spent considerable time and money on the project to date and have even built a large engine shed at Maymorn in anticipation of the proposal being approved.

I have spoken to one of the regional councillors who is sympathetic to my concerns but he needs weight of numbers if he is to lobby against the proposal as it stands.

I would like some feedback from the Vorb community about this.
recrider
Member for: 8 years 11 months

Re: Rimutaka Rail Trail Closure

Postby blairb on Sun 20/Nov/11 10:06pm

Doesn't seem right, a public space being used for a commercial venture, and it takes away a great family space.
blairb
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Re: Rimutaka Rail Trail Closure

Postby thelongwalk on Sun 20/Nov/11 10:54pm

Yep, I have only ridden it once but enjoyed it, it is something special with those tunnels. Would be sad to loose.

On the other hand you have to enourage this sort of investment and vision by people. Those big ideas take drive and some people like steam engines as much as we like bikes and trails.
thelongwalk
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Member for: 8 years 8 months

Re: Rimutaka Rail Trail Closure

Postby its that guy on Mon 21/Nov/11 7:22am

I did some of my first riding on the rail trail, it would be a shame to see it go.
its that guy
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"Lurkin"
Member for: 8 years 4 months

Re: Rimutaka Rail Trail Closure

Postby UnimatrixZero on Mon 21/Nov/11 7:28am

My kids are a bit young to be riding at this stage, but I was genuinely thinking that the Incline would be their intro to off-road riding (maybe with a picnic at the end and a dare to go through the big tunnel :) ). Appreciate that a train might help the area's economy, but I'm sad :(
UnimatrixZero
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"He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave."
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Re: Rimutaka Rail Trail Closure

Postby its that guy on Mon 21/Nov/11 8:01am

UnimatrixZero wrote:Appreciate that a train might help the area's economy, but I'm sad :(
x2
its that guy
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"Lurkin"
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Re: Rimutaka Rail Trail Closure

Postby Klarkash-ton on Mon 21/Nov/11 8:58am

I've been up the incline with my kids twice in the last couple of years (due another trip about now I think :) ) It is great fun and they love it! BBQ (make sure you take the BBQ back out with you!) and picnic, with a trip through the long tunnel are definitely highlights.

there is a site http://www.rimutaka-incline-railway.org.nz/ for this project, where they state :

It would add to the variety of activities possible in the Pakuratahi Forest Park, including packages that might include both a heritage railway experience and walking/cycling — with enhanced visitor facilities along the route


I think as they are purely to be a tourist attraction they need to attract cyclists and convert them to customers, and it appears they are aware of this. Co-incidentally they have released a walkway specification just last Friday http://www.rimutaka-incline-railway.org.nz/sites/default/files/walkway-specification-low-res-20111031.pdf which shows their intention for walkers and cyclists. First glance looks good, they have mapped new routes where required along the length from Maymorn to Summit and budgeted 3 million for walkway/cycleway development.

Looks like we would lose the smaller tunnels on the incline, but as they only go as far as the summit the long tunnel and remainder of the walkway through to Waiarapa will still be open(?).
Klarkash-ton
"I ride to support my eating habit"
Member for: 9 years 3 months

Re: Rimutaka Rail Trail Closure

Postby Peat on Mon 21/Nov/11 9:18am

I think the whole proposal is pie in the ski.
I wouldn't like it go get the go ahead from GW.
Their proposed replacement track has a gradient of 12% which will make it unsuitable for most of the current users- Ie families and kids. The best part of track is the tunnels and walkers & cyclists would miss out.
The route is also part of the proposed Wellington/wairarapa cycle link.
Not to mention the fire issue in the area from steam trains.
Have a look at http://can.org.nz/article/rimutaka-rail ... threatened
Peat
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