matthew25187 wrote:rail_up wrote:Given that there is now a company running a tourist operation on the line, does this mean there is no future for rail transport?
The Rotorua Ngongotaha Rail Trust have a fixed term lease on the line but currently the only commercial services using it are Rail Riders who have a license to operate rail services. The Trust has previously stated their hope that freight and heritage passenger rail services some day return to the line.
Thank you for clarifying that. There is light at the end of the tunnel...rail_up wrote:I am sure that Rotorua will, in years to come, regret the decisions they've made to date.
What is happening and has happened to the Rotorua Branch with regards to its central city terminus has happened before. For example, the former Southbridge Branch line used to run under a road overbridge on Springs Road into Prebbleton before continuing on to the centrally-located station in Lincoln. After it no longer had a use for the line, and denying a request to use the line for heritage rail services, NZR pulled up the track back to north of Prebbleton and sold off the remaining corridor land. The road overbridge was later demolished. Now should passenger rail ever return to Christchurch, what could have been an opportunity to include two growing population centres into such a network is gone. The history of rail in New Zealand is replete with many examples of squandered or otherwise lost opportunities.
Agreed absolutely. The question now is, with the benefit of hindsight, how do we stop these things happening again?
royce wrote:As far as passenger transport goes I would doubt if locomotive hauled trains would be any more fuel efficient than a modern road coach.
For sure. I would not be suggesting that passenger trains were advantageous, but moving freight is certainly good sense.