The opening of a new log yard in Wairoa will see regular log trains running between Wairoa and Napier Port, in New Zealand.
Chief operating officer of KiwiRail, Todd Moyle, said that trains will run on the weekend.
“Moving forwards, now that our logging yard consents are in place, we will usually run two trains a week, on Saturdays and Sundays,” he said.
Having the new facility in place will also reduce the use of road freight for the movement of logs, with benefits for the environment.
“Each train could take up to 50 long distance truck hauls off the road between Napier and Wairoa, with 66 per cent fewer emissions per tonne of freight carried by rail compared to trucks,” said Moyle.
Forecasts indicate that the demand for these freight rail services will grow.
“Growing this business will assist local businesses to harvest and transport large volumes of logs, help bring profitability to KiwiRail, benefit the East Cape region with less congestion and road wear and tear, and bring added benefits from lower emissions,” said Moyle.
Funding for the project was sourced from the NZ government, indicating the level of support for the rail industry in NZ, said Moyle.
“The Government’s allocation of $6.2 million to the project through the Provincial Growth Fund is a recognition of the proven benefits rail brings.”
According to general manager commercial at Napier Port, David Kriel, the rail line will grow the region financially.
“It’s great to be able to assist in offering our Wairoa customers a safe, direct, and sustainable alternative to trucking logs via State Highway 2, and it will really help to unlock the economic potential of the Wairoa region.”