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The recent debate around the rail link to Napier has culminated in some crackpot ideas.I think everyone accepts that increased usage is needed to make the business more than marginally profitable, but the idea Gary Hope has to electrify the line would ensure it would not be profitable. Not only would there be millions more in capital costs, there would be added operational costs as well.
To suggest he could persuade Eastland Group (and the Eastland Community Trust) to take over running the operation is laughable. Why would this company run an operation in direct competition to its own large investment in the Gisborne port, which at the moment is making good returns for its shareholder ECT and ultimately to its beneficiaries the Gisborne community?The Napier port naturally is keen to receive all the product it can through its port, which increases jobs and profits in Napier. Eastland Group is hardly likely to oblige them, with its focus being on generating profits here in Gisborne.PETER JOHNSON
This article first appeared on www.gisborneherald.co.nz
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