14 Apr 2012

Mayor wants Govt money for rail line repairs

12:52 pm on 14 April 2012

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon says the Government should contribute to the cost of repairing the Napier - Gisborne rail line, if KiwiRail can't afford it.

An assessment has found it will take five months and up to $4.3 million to reinstate washouts along a 3km stretch of line between Gisborne - Wairoa.

KiwiRail says it now needs to determine the long- term viability of the line, and this could take at least two weeks.

The route, which Kiwirail says loses more than two million dollars a year, was already under review prior to the washouts.

It is primarily used for freight and there is an occasional charter train.

Mr Foon says the East Coast electorate has been very supportive of National in the past 12 years and some reciprocal support would be nice.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee was unavailable for comment.

Rally held

More than 1000 people marched in Gisborne on Saturday morning.

Mr Foon led the rally which voted to ask KiwiRail to repair and re-open the tracks.