Where Wanganui wood ends up
THE SURPRISING FACT ABOUT THE LOGS that are harvested from the forests around Wanganui is their route to export markets.
Logic would suggest they are transported to the nearby port at New Plymouth, less than an hour away. Or even down to CentrePort at Wellington.
No. Most of the logs harvested by the crews in this region head across country by rail to be shipped out of Napier.
Marcus Musson, Director with local forest manager, FOMS, says: “There are not enough ships calling into New Plymouth and it’s expensive to export out of there.
“And with the issues we have around traffic congestion in Wellington and port unloading, which has got worse since the earthquake, we find that the rail head here in Wanganui enables us to freight more efficiently to Napier.”
FOMS has been operating a rail head log yard in Wanganui for the past seven years and recently re-located to the east side of the river, where it’s more convenient and provides more space.
“There is a lot of wood coming on this side of the river so it made a lot of sense,” says Marcus. “And it gave us the opportunity to put a decent size weighbridge in, scaling functions and that sort of thing.
“We’ve been in Eastown for a couple of years and it works very well. We have one train with 25 wagons leaving around 3pm every day and we need to fill every one of them, as we pay Kiwirail whether they are full or not.”
FOMS could send more logs by rail by is currently constrained by the availability of rolling stock, not wood. One full train equals 17 truck and trailer loads. NZL
Logs are loaded onto the train by a Chinese-made wheel loader, for transport to the port at Napier.