Northern rail upgrade studied
AS WORK PROGRESSES TO RE-OPEN the rail line between Wairoa and Napier to carry logs by train, moves could be afoot to upgrade rail in Northland, including the link to the port at Marsden Point.
Forestry Minister, Shane Jones and Minister of Transport, Phil Twyford, announced last month that a rail upgrade could be included as part of a package of Provincial Growth Fund improvements to help Northland’s economic and social growth.
KiwiRail Chief Executive, Peter Reidy, welcomed the announcement, saying: “Northland’s rail lines are under-used and much of the rail infrastructure is old, reducing the speed at which trains can travel. The tunnels are not fit for purpose when it comes to container freight and considerable investment is needed to bring the rail line up to modern standards.”
KiwiRail currently runs one weekday return service from Northland to Auckland on the line predominantly carrying dairy and forestry.