Upgrade for troublesome crossing

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 12/06/2014
timaru temuka railway crossing j a mcilraith
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ
UNDER SCRUTINY: J A McIraith at the Temuka railway crossing on Richard Pearse Drive, which requires urgent repairs.

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A full upgrade to a Temuka railway crossing that is in desperate need of repair has been brought forward to early next year.

Initially, KiwiRail told the Timaru District Council the repairs would be done within the next three years, district councillor for the Temuka Ward Pat Mulvey said.

The crossing of concern is where Ewen Rd becomes Richard Pearse Drive.

Mulvey said the crossing had been a poor and dangerous state of repair for some time.

Mulvey said the repairs needed attention sooner rather than later because of dairy season and it being on a route regularly used by Fonterra trucks.

Senior Constable J A McIlraith said she was particularly cautious at the crossing. "I just know you have to go slowly and carefully over the railway lines."

A KiwiRail spokesperson said the upgrade was planned in the 2013/14 financial year, but was postponed due to other critical work required on other parts of the network.

"The level crossing is inspected regularly and is safe for rail operations. However, we are aware that there is considerable nuisance experienced by local residents because of the noise of large vehicles crossing it, and we recognise the need for a resolution to the issue.

"With funding in the next year's budget now confirmed, we have begun the necessary planning."

However, Land Transport NZ plans to change the rules for subsidisation of roading, which means the Timaru District Council is likely to foot some of that cost from July 2015. It currently receives 100 per cent financial support for such work.

The upgrade will involve rebuilding the formation of the tracks and replacing rail and sleepers. Rubber matting will be laid to minimise noise.

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- The Timaru Herald

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