Feasibility Study

  • Monday Aug 7 2023

PRESS RELEASE: Otago Central Rail Trail Feasibility Study Update

Since the start of the Otago Central Rail Trail the Taieri Gorge Railway was a key experience and a great finale to the ride.
With fewer and fewer services connecting Dunedin to Middlemarch the railway experience became less reliable.

With Covid ceasing services and the trip mainly extending just to Hindon for cruise ships the Trust have considered a number of times the opportunities to maximise tourism benefits in Middlemarch and a railway connection.

They have worked with Project Steam to ensure the heritage line between Middlemarch and Sutton and hopefully to Pukerangi can be available. But having assessed the line between Pukerangi and Hindon there is no opportunity to have both a train and cycle service that could operate together.

The Trust would prefer that a regular train service to Middlemarch is available in the future honouring the founders of Taieri Gorge Railways aspirations. However in order to ensure that DCC have all the facts when making decisions on train assets the Trust has offered to undertake the feasibility to ensure all the information on the options is available.  Click here for Economic Impacts of a Taieri Gorge Trail

The Trust's view is that the Gorge is a fitting finale/start to the Rail Trail and want it accessible to those experiencing the trail. The Trust does not have a preference how that is provided. It too needs to assess the evidence.

A headline suggesting that the Trust would intentionally derail services is fundamentally incorrect. The Trust wants to give its users the best experience it can, connect the Trail with Dunedin and maximise benefits for businesses in Middlemarch. That may well include more trains than before if Hindon accommodation can connect a broader range of users like fishers or walkers to the Jubilee Hut.

Please get in touch at hello@otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz should you have any queries.

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image: Rail Trailers at Middlemarch