REGARDING the Inland Rail route.
Unfortunately for the thousands of people and hundreds of families that will be affected by moving the line from the original sensible track which ran alongside the Acland train line, this would certainly seem the most cost effective and sensible but instead will go through the two flood plains of Millmerran and Westbrook across “the worst possible option for a train track”, it has been said.
Not only is it threatening many lives if a flood does come which it will but it will also require literally thousands of beams and piles, yes you guessed it, made of concrete, to get it across both plains 18kms across Millmerran and 4kms across Westbrook, not to mention the amount required to encase the tunnels through the range will also be gigantic.
The spoil from the tunnel is a problem also that the town of Gowrie will have for time immemorial. It has been estimated that there will be three-quarters of a million cubic metres of finely ground rock to dispose of.
The ARTC has 10 acres of land to dump this wastage on which will mean the pile will be 18.4 metres high, but that won’t be a worry for the residents of Gowrie now as they won’t know about it till it starts to arrive by dump truck.
In fact nearly 19,000 dump trucks and back from the tunnel and back. Can you imagine the damage to the environment these machines are going to do spewing into the clean airs of Gowrie?
Gowrie will not be the only affected community because as the track cuts a swath through Millmerran, Pittsworth and Southbrook it will also be devastating the environment, smashing down trees and gauging a huge one to 17 metres deep vee in the landscape followed by an embankment two to six metres high.
The land is undulating and not conducive to building a train line on, but for some odd reason they still chose it.
I would just like to sympathise with all of the residents who will be affected by the line and its building and all the taxpayers who are paying for this line and will keep paying for it for ever as the business case has shown this line will never ever make a profit as one of the most expensive routes has been chosen to a port which has geographically no real capability to meaningfully increase its cargo throughput and as such the line will never be able to cover its building costs.
So all those affected in the future please reflect: We told you so and you did nothing.
PAUL CLAPHAM, Southbrook