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How did the idea originate?
The idea of reinstating a heritage railway on the former Rimutaka Incline route was first mooted at Summit in July 2002, during the celebration of the registration of the Kaitoke to Cross Creek portion as a historic place. During speaches RAILS magazine editor Bob Stott suggested that the railway formation and structures were in quite good order, and that a heritage railway ought to be considered for reinstatement.
Regional Councillors invited railway heritage groups and other interested parties to discuss the possbility and practicalities and report back to a subsequent Greater Wellington Regional Council Landcare Committee meeting.
Railway revivalists Steve Porter and Hugh McCracken presented to the August 2002 Landcare committee meeting, and subsequently formed the Rimutaka Incline Railway Steering Committee to oversee planning and development of the tourist-heritage railway.
How will the heritage railway be funded?
The BERL economic feasibility assessment, completed in November 2003 confirmed that the Trust's intentions to build and operate a tourist-heritage railway attraction is both viable and practicable. This confirmation will assist the Trust in approaching potential funding sources. It is anticipated that funding may be drawn from a wide variety of sources, from individuals, body corporates, through to governmental and non-governmental organisations.
The Trust anticipates that there will be a wide variety of opportunities to contribute to the reinstatement of the railway attraction, including:
- Membership and donations
- Sponsorship of items, from small to large, with the possibility of naming rights
- Donation in kind, for example - track materials, ballast, earthmoving, concrete products, joinery, surveying, planning, civil and mechanical engineering expertise, marketing, and the list goes on...
What about existing users of the walkway?
The proposal to reinstate a heritage railway includes the provision of an alternative walkway in the general vicinity of the current walkway that occupies the railway formation. Options are being developed for various locations, as required to suit the various current uses of the walkway, which include walking, running, cycling, events involving one or more of these uses, and horse riding. The railway formation is also used at Kaitoke to access the Hutt Valley New Zealand Deerstalkers Association rifle range, the Upper Valley Gliding Club air field and the Wellington Kart Club speedway. Alternative access that is mutually acceptable will be required.
How do I join?
The Rimutaka Incline Railway Heritage Trust is open to membership for individuals and body corporates, by filling out the Membership application form. A membership fee applies.
Members shall be entitled to receive newsletters and other literature relating to the activities of the Trust, and to participate in rostered construction, operation and maintenance of Rimutaka Incline Railway infrastructure and rolling stock. The Trust welcomes your interest and future involvement in what is destined to become an iconic tourist attraction for Upper Hutt, the Southern Wairarapa, Wellington and New Zealand.