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Upper Hutt Leader : December 14th 2011
10 UPPER HUTT LEADER, DECEMBER 14, 2011 LETTERS Ph: 528 7588 (24hrs) 15 Geange Street, Upper Hutt “When quality counts” For Professional Advice on Flooring WE HAVE IT COVERED! UH103863R3609155AK I hold regular constituency clinics throughout the electorate. To book an appointment, please contact my offices. Chris HIPKINS MP for Rimutaka Chris Hipkins Taita Electorate Office: 1195 High Street Taita Phone 04 567 0156 Upper Hutt Office: 216 Main Street, Upper Hutt Phone 04 528 0156 Email email@example.com chrishipkins.org.nz labour.org.nz 04 528 5715 3823214BA Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 021 270 9113 3489075 PAUL SWAIN UPPER HUTT REGIONAL COUNCILLOR 3489075AJ ovt..nnzz 3333 33489075553489077999988888888833333333 Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year We will be available throughout the holidays Helen Wilkes 04 -939 6058 7B Gibbons Street, Upper Hutt 2881327BH Upper Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau 18 Logan Street, Upper Hutt Ph: 528 9040 email@example.com Ad kindly sponsored by UH Cossie Club Too Much Debt? $ DEBT 2411429BY 3530457AT FOR ALL MAKES AND MODELS Servicing – Repairs – Tyres Parts – Accessories W.O.F ’s ON SITE While you wait. Bookings essential HOURS: Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm Saturday 9:00am – 1:00pm P:045289395•M:0275972519 E: firstname.lastname@example.org 30 GOODSHED ROAD, UPPER HUTT (next to Lifestyle Gym) REUNIONS Upper Hutt Bowling Club Club centennial. Anniversary Week- end, January 20 to 22, 2012. Contact: Marie Parsons, 68 Gibbons St, 970 0207. Email mparsons@ paradise.net.nz . Upper Hutt College 50th Jubilee. Easter 2012, April 6 to 8. On web, upperhut- t.school.nz/ jubilee, email, hepburnh@ upperhutt.school.nz or ph, 527 8749. Rail project raises ire of resident ➤ HAVE YOUR SAY We welcome your letters. They should be no longer than 250 words. The editor reserves the right to abridge letters and also decide whether letters are suitable for publication. Letters must include the writer’s name for publication. Pen names are not accepted. The writer’s address and phone number must be supplied for our records. Email to email@example.com, fax 528 3021 or P O Box 40001, Upper Hutt. Thanks letters for grants to groups are not accepted. Open letters and poetry are seldom used. Time for facts on Rimutaka Incline rail project The heading Rail project is for greater good in last week’s Leader caught my eye, but I then realised it referred to the ill-founded proposal to close a recreational amenity used by tens of thousands in favour of a very small but vociferous group seeking exclusive use of same. Your correspondent Mr Romanos appears to know nothing about the former railway from Maymorn to Summit. It is not ‘‘one of the toughest/ steepest railway routes in the world’’. And it stretches credulity to suggest that tourist interest would be aroused by the prospect of a train journey on it. The section featured severe curvature and a maximum gradient of about 1 in 40 but it was an ordinary railway and was worked by the same locomotives used through the Hutt Valley. The assertion that the tunnels ‘‘belong’’ to rail is nonsensi- cal. The regional council effectively holds the cited land in trust for the recreational use of all, and is certain to decline the application to deny public access to it. In its ninth year of existence the group involved has no locomotives or carriages it can use, no regular income or finance to pursue its grandiose plans, and its manpower resource is small. It has fenced its leased site on which there is an uncompleted shed (awaiting funding!), six carriage hulks (bodies only) in extremely poor condition, a badly deteriorated wooden-body sleeping car(!), several rusting wagons, and a non-operational shunting tractor. It’s high time a few facts replaced the rhetoric. BRIAN PEARCE, Silverstream Reply Rimutaka Incline Railway Heritage Trust chairperson Hugh McCracken replies: We wish to correct a number of factual errors in Mr Pearce’s letter. Readers are invited to visit the trust’s website rimutaka-incline- railway.org.nz about the project. The trust was established in 2003 in response to an invitation from Greater Wellington Regional Council to rail heritage groups in the Wellington area to investigate the reinstatement of the former railway route over the Rimutakas. The trust has been working towards that goal since that time, achieving a number of key outcomes along the way, including the establishment of the Maymorn site, securing resource consent for rail and tourist activities at Maymorn, a rail licence for operations at Maymorn, designing, project-managing and building an 80-metre long rail vehicle shed based on a 1911 NZR engine shed design, and acquiring a sizeable fleet of carriages, wagons and locomotives. The trust is also close to signing a lease on an operational heritage diesel-electric locomotive. Rail groups from other parts of the country have made carriage bogies available to the trust at reasonable rates and we have received substantial donations of materials from Holcim (New Zealand) Limited and KiwiRail. The Upper Hutt community has been very supportive of the project and we are very grateful for continued support from Rimutaka Trust, Rotary Club of Upper Hutt, Rimutaka Lions Club and the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club for their donations and interest. We have also received funding from Hutt Mana Charitable Trust, Pelorus Trust, The Lion Foundation, New Zealand Community Trust, the Community Trust of Wellington, the Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand and New Zealand Lottery Grants Board. Trust members have put in thousands of hours of work into the project and also continue to make significant donations. The new walkway is an integral part of the project, as we recognise the significant use of the Rail Trail by walkers and cyclists. We have increased the walkway/cycleway width from 2.5 meters to 4m, and reduced the gradient from a maximum of 12.5 percenttoarangeof0to5per cent to better match the current high standard of facilities on the rail trail consistent with a grade 1 off-road cycle trail. We have undertaken to stage the construction of the new walkway ahead of any corresponding section of railway reinstatement to ensure that walking and cycling activities can continue uninterrupted. We welcome feedback on the changes via our website. The proposed railway deviation to the east of the former Kaitoke station will also include an adjacent walkway/cycleway. This, along with proposed enhancements at Maymorn, will improve connectivity between the Hutt River Trail, Tunnel Gully and the new walkway/cycleway from Kaitoke to Summit. The benefits of such a railway have been proven overseas in several countries. The proposal to reinstate a railway of national and regional significance will also create jobs in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the railway. Similar railways in other countries such as, the Welsh Highland Railway and Tasmania’s West Coast Wilderness railway, have demonstrated the potential of heritage railways to yield economic benefits for the tourism sector and the regional economy. Research shows that the Welsh Highland Railway generates about 350 jobs in spin-off industries and puts about $15m a year into the local economy. The trust estimates that, based on the BERL Feasibility Assessments estimated visitor numbers, the railway will inject between $4 million to $5 million per year into the Upper Hutt economy. The economic benefits of the heritage railway has parallels with the benefits of the national cycleway promoted by the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Economic Development and Positively Wellington Tourism in that it will also bring export dollars into our economy, boost local businesses and create jobs in communities near the railway. There will also be opportunities for businesses to serve the railway and the walkway/cycleway including train plus cycle hire packages. This will be amongst some of the many opportunities for Upper Hutt to provide first-class Kiwi hospitality to visitors. They will travel from far and wide to visit what will be an internationally significant heritage experience. We look forward to the time when our Rimutaka Incline can be brought back to life, with the story told and played out by people with a passion for our history. As our office is about to close for the holidays, we have given Mr McCracken an unusually long right of reply in this issue. Editor.
December 7th 2011
December 21st 2011