Drivers are urged to be vigilant when returning the Wairoa to Napier railway line to service

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Drivers traveling between Napier and Wairoa will need to be vigilant at level crossings now that trains carrying logs are back serving the route.

KiwiRail line Wairoa to Napier.
Photo: Supplied / KiwiRail

The road was put on hold in 2012 after storm damage, but was restored with a $ 6.2 million boost from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The first log train operated yesterday and another will run every Saturday and Sunday, carrying 1,400 tonnes every weekend.

KiwiRail COO Todd Moyle said the service is likely to grow and drivers at level crossings should expect trains at all times.

“Log export forecasts show that a wall of timber will be ready for export within 18 months, and the volume of logs harvested will continue to grow over the next few years.”

He said parents need to pass this message on to their children who have been born since the services were discontinued and who may not be aware of the risk.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said Morning report that the resurrection of the service would help improve road safety.

“It probably won’t take [logging trucks] off the road initially, but that will prevent other trucks from entering the road as they are now heading for the rail hub … we need these trucks off the road. “

The most important reminder was to obey the rules of the road, Little said.

“When there is a stop sign, stop. KiwiRail has had a wonderful campaign on radios, signage and all that.”

Logs loaded on the railway line.

Logs loaded on the railway line.
Photo: Supplied / KiwiRail

However, there were concerns about people ignoring the stop sign in the absence of physical barriers or bells, he said.

“I was following a motorbike down to Hawke’s Bay yesterday and I couldn’t believe he had just passed the stop sign. And I thought, ‘oh my God, this is the day the track railroad reopens “.

“So some people really have to start [reminding themselves], but it’s no one else’s fault but theirs. “

On the flip side, the service would also help create jobs and keep truck drivers in town rather than relocating to Napier, Little said.

“We have to look at Hawke’s Bay as an area, we have a pretty good port in Napier so obviously more logs coming in will create jobs for that purpose, but on our side I think you will have other people using it. the railway once it is in a condition to function properly. “

Although it took a while to get the trains on the line, it was normal practice, Little said.

“People have to be a little patient with this one, it’s just going to end slowly.”


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