How do you stop kids from the local marae crossing the railway line to take a dip in the river? That’s a question KiwiRail is asking itself after putting in a 2.3 km passing track at Waharoa to allow trains to pass each other.
Matamata-Piako Mayor Hugh Vercoe told Waikato Regional Council’s regional transport committee on Monday the rail operator hadn’t done its homework before building the track.
"What KiwiRail did not realise is that you have a Marae on one side and a river on the other. Children go down there to swim. They also push their bikes across the tracks to go swimming."
In raising the issue with KiwiRail Mr Vercoe was told the company would erect a sign and a fence.
"I said that will last all of 30 seconds. They then said that they would enforce the trespass notice. I said whoopdy do. I’m sure the police will be interested in that. Being honest kids will continue to cross the river no matter how many fences you put up. That’s the issue I would like some answers on."
KiwRail area manager Peter Dix told the committee the company had a very real problem.
"Not so much when the train is moving. If a train is to stop there to let another through the kids will see that as safe. We had not realised the extent of trespassing, we apologise for not doing our homework earlier."
The committee asked for a report with a range of options.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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