CHB Mail

Rail issues


I am positive that my fellow Otane denizens are familiar with the long layovers that NZ rail administer to with regards to the Otane dual rail system. Of late this has been in excess of one hour. During the hot sultry days, this has led to diesel fumes settling along the residentia­l properties of Carruthers and Brogden streets.

If anyone suffers from pulmonary problems — these fumes exacerbate their problems.

It is good and positive to know that issues such as these can be solved through proper channels.

After contacting HB Regional Council, with an onsite visit, Mike (HBRC) contacted Derek at NZ Rail in Palmerston North. Derek immediatel­y contacted me and we spent half an hour discussing the issue. Derek explained NZ Rail’s operationa­l issues (Otane the only dual rail carriage way between Hastings and Palmerston North) but did say that he understood my concerns and would see what changes could be made. He also explained that under OSH legislatio­n that the diesel engines could not be turned off (heating and cooling for the engine staff required by law). Derek promised to get back to me after NZ Rail reviewed the situation. Six days later I just received a call from Derek to inform me that NZ Rail has rejigged their timetables to ensure that the layovers (static idling times) will be greatly reduced. He also thanked me for informing me of the situation, and stated that “NZ Rail only wanted to be a good neighbour”. I am writing this for two reasons. One to publicly thank NZ Rail for listening and responding to public concerns. Two, to remind people there are by laws and legislatio­n at their fingertips to resolve any issue, all that is required is a calm and proactive manner to communicat­e.

Robbie McKee


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