The old original tunnel is rich in Otago's history.
"Josephine" and many other iconic Dunedin steam locomotives,
made their way through this atmospheric passage. Today, the
tunnel can be a source of 'buried treasure' for future
generations. If it can be restored and used as a walking /
cycling track, would this not be a great asset to Otago, and
All acknowledge that tourism is currently our biggest earner
of overseas currency. Studies show that heritage and outdoor
activities, effectively take advantage of tourists'
willingness to explore and enjoy our history and natural
As I understand it, the tunnel has been partially buried by a
small amount of 'overburden' from the construction of the
highway to Port Chalmers. Tunnels, by their nature, are
designed to withstand the weight of 'overburden', as well as
the constant 'hammering' of heavy trains. It would be
extremely surprising to find that the tunnel is in less than
Otago Harbour is a naturally beautiful asset for the people
of Dunedin. The old tunnel under the neck of Rosneath, can
enhance that great asset, as people enjoy the rail-trail,
cycle-way/walking track. I believe that it would be
very cost effective, to uncover one of the tunnel entrances,
and do a study of the tunnel's condition. If the tunnel is
found to be solid, it could be the most cost effective cycle
/ walker corridor for local and international visitors.
I grew up in Sawyers Bay, so you could say I am slightly
biased with this imaginative idea.
Samuel.Mann's suggestion is correct - the first step is to
remove the blanket ban and then look at issues, options, and
It may well be that Kiwirail decide the loop and shunting
tracks cannot be moved for operational reasons and that would
be a fair call. They may also decide that those lines
can be removed or relocated.
The issues of air quality, unit proximity, and fencing within
and close to the tunnel could also be addressed and
cost/benefit options weighed.
But until Kiwirail are willing to have those discussions
nothing can happen: this potential solution is being blocked
due to a Senior Staff Member saying "Just because".
Hiding under a Cone of Silence called "safety" is not good
enough. Michael Woodhouse, please speak to Simon
Bridges (Transport) and Todd McClay (SOE).
Sorry Dr Robert Thomson and Mr Steve Walker - the idea of
using the existing tunnel along with trains is plain silly .
Please! A little research of this type of thing before making
public comment in future would greatly assist. I think that
KiwiRail and the NZTA have been very restrained in their
Samuel Mann asks "what would have to happen for the cycleway
to pass through the tunnel"?
Putting aside the danger of fumes in the tunnel being a
health hazard for cyclists (gas masks anyone?), you'll first
need to relocate the 900 metre long Sawyers Bay crossing loop
(the second track in the tunnel), to south of the
tunnel. With causeway widening works, track and
signalling costs, you're probably looking at $30 million or
Then you'll have to build a new junction north of the tunnel,
to access the Sawyers Bay yard and Port Chalmers Branch, and
reconfigure the signalling there. Probably another $5
million or so.
Assuming 100 cyclists per day, over 20 years, a $50 toll for
each cyclist per use of the tunnel should pay for the
above. The gas masks could be handed out at the toll
This is a really disappointing response from the coach.
Whether he intended or not, Fekitoa will have connected with
a section of the community who may suffer from the same
issues. By suggesting that he "just needs to play rugby"
totally undermines the seriousness of the situation and could
make those individuals less likely to seek professional help
which could ultimately turn their life around.
Lynden: You should be concerned to see the various amounts of
money being spent on parts of Mayor Cull's Bicycle Network,
while the total expected cost remains unknown/hidden. How can
you support this project if you don't know the cost?
Also, if you have faith in "build it and they will
come", then remember that this was Mayor Peter Chin's
justification for the reckless decision to build their new
stadium - a financial millstone that will be around our necks
for several decades. Your assertion that American cities are
starting to follow Portland's example uses vague/undefined
terms and reads like marketing spin. Also, if you are saying
that cycle lanes will reduce rates then I think that you are
In Dunedin, where wasting ratepayers money has become a
habit, every dollar of DCC spending should be justified with
good reasons - and not just good reasons. Project costs need
to be honest and accurate and the benefits need to be
measurable and great enough to justify the cost as well as
any detrimental collateral effects. In my view the DCC and
NZTA decisions to proceed with Dave Cull's Bicycle Network
Obsession don't meet this standard which is needed to
properly evaluate the viability of the project.
Seems that no-one really needs a $250m-plus stadium and a
mown cattle paddock can attract just as many people as the
expensive stadium which costs Dunedin ratepayers millions in
interest payments. And it rained a bit and nobody died.
Lesson to be learned is?