Continued train service vital, community board says

The Strath Taieri Community Board wants the Taieri Gorge railway line to Middlemarch to be well used.

The trip was vital to the vibrancy of Middlemarch, the board said in a submission on the Dunedin City Council's 10-year plan.

Board chairman Barry Williams said at a hearing yesterday he would be upset if something was not done to keep the line going.

The future of the railway line, which is owned by the council's company Dunedin Railways, is uncertain, but the council has indicated it will retain ownership of a train service.

Middlemarch was cut from a tourist train service in 2019 and a trial was run this summer of a weekly trip from Dunedin to Hindon.

Another option that has been floated is extending the Otago Central Rail Trail from Middlemarch to Dunedin, but that would not necessarily preclude use of the line for trains.

The community board also pressed for flooding prevention in Strath Taieri to continue to be treated as a priority.

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