This is an excellent project which I am quite excited about. At the moment, it is not an easy task to get from Dunedin to Mosgiel via anything other than a car (or maybe a bus). And the distances aren’t the problem - it is the hills. This is the concept (click to view in Google Maps):
It just so happens that there are two disused rail tunnels that cross the tricky bits. Built in the 1870s, they were replaced by the current straighter and wider rail tunnel in 1911. They have languished since, but are actually in pretty good condition - they built things well back then.
Thanks for the offer Nathan. If/when DCC actually give the Green Light for the tunnels project we’ll ramp up the media channels for the Trust, which hopefully include info here as well. It’s been a very frustrating few years, sitting on hands while DCC spends money on external consultant reports, duplicating much of what had been done earlier. At least now there appears to be a will within Council hallways to get this underway, albeit without any urgency.
Hi Gerard knows my views about the whole process with the Tunnels. As Long as DCC is managing project it will be unlikely it will ever happen. The project has to be managed by the community. Look at Central Trails and how successful they have been.
From my ignorant perspective, I do wonder if partnership really needs to be the model.
While essentially all bureaucracies get bogged down in process, they do have staying power. The challenge is getting the best out of them whilst harnessing community enthusiasm. And I suspect that is just what @GerardH is aiming to do.
Our hope is that this online forum will be a highly useful way of connecting up the people and the dots. We don’t want to be just another channel (groan).
It is 100% community driven by the way (unlike Facebook)!
DCC page has been updated: Dunedin tunnels trail project - Dunedin City Council with the key updates being the new map at the top (open image in new tab to zoom in), and updated the dates to reflect it’s now 2022 for approvals and 2023 before any construction begins. [SMH].
Sadly, the only part reachable by the public at this stage is the portal entrance to the Caversham tunnel at the Caversham end. Everything else, apart from the existing Grand Vista subdivision path, is still on private land.
Oh, I had imagined a lot of the old railway corridor would have been kept as a reserve in case it was ever needed, as the Railway Reserve in Nelson is. But then, ironically, the only reason Nelson’s Railway Reserve was kept was because it was the location for a proposed motorway.
At this stage (and anything can change with the DCC!) we are hoping to get the Chain Hills tunnel open as a first step while the Caversham tunnel hazards are dealt with. So 3 stages: Chain Hills to Green Island / Green Island to K.Valley/ Caversham tunnel.
Are you on the DCC group looking at the project? I seemed like the whole issue around the Caversham tunnel was quite manageable, and the reluctance to allow it to be used was driven by individuals. With a bit of will, and perhaps personal changes, I think it could still be an option, and as a commuter route that will take a while to finish in its entirety it would make sense to build its use from the city end.