KiwiRail is reopening the Napier to Wairoa rail line, to take heavy forestry trucks off regional roads and deliver economic growth in the region.
After the Napier - Gisborne Line was badly damaged by a storm in March 2012, the line was mothballed, because the cost of repairing and maintaining it far exceeded its commercial value at the time.
But as New Zealand’s “Wall of Wood” comes onstream with log tonnages projected to peak at 44 million tonnes in 2032/33, KiwiRail with the help of the Provincial Growth Fund has invested to reopen the line between Napier and Wairoa.
Using the Napier-Wairoa line to move logs is good for the region, the environment and New Zealand.
It lifts the regional economy. It makes the roads safer by taking logging trucks off roads that were not designed to cope with growing volumes. It helps the environment by cutting carbon emissions - every tonne of freight carried by rail is a 66% emissions saving over heavy road freight.
A work train travels across the picturesque Mohaka Viaduct in 2018.
In September 2018, severe weather in Hawke’s Bay caused a significant washout of around 45m track just north of Raupunga.
It took several months to reinstate the embankment and reconnect the track, with work trains once again able to travel through the area from April 2019.