Dunedin Cycleways

10 03 2010

Amongst the projects that missed out on the National Cycleway funding is the Dunedin Tunnels Trail, linking Mosgiel to Dunedin. It’s another one of those projects where it’s a real pity it missed out on funding as it would appeal as a tourist ride and as a commuter cycleway. For the 7000 odd people in Mosgiel riding a bike to Dunedin, dealing with the hills and the motorway is a big ask. But the route through the two old railway tunnels, called the Caversham Tunnel and the Chain Hills Tunnel, linking Dunedin to Wingatui and hence to Mosgiel and the whole Taieri Plains, would get rid of all those obstacles. I knicked this picture from the Caversham Tunnel website, a site promoting the route. The picture is of the Caversham Tunnel. It is 865 metres long, so it’d be a nice long ride through.

There are also plans to extend a cycleway along the north side of Otago Harbour to Port Chalmers. Have a look at this great news story from the Otago Daily Times, and you have to look at the second photo on it to see just the best submission on any cycleway ever.

Whilst I’m beating the drum for Dunedin, did you know that Dunedin once had a whole lot of cable trams and did you know suburban rail services operated from Dunedin to Port Chalmers until 1979 and to Mosgiel  until 1982?

So how about linking the cycleways and having a Port Chalmers to Mosgiel through cycleway, and extending it out to the airport? And reviving suburban rail services in Dunedin over the same route, with a new 2km single track spur into the airport? It’s an international airport, that gets about 15-20 arrivals and departures each day. A single train that just goes back and forth stopping at old and new intermediate stations between Port Chalmers and the Airport wouldn’t give all that frequent service, but have it so it can take bikes.

The cycleways and the train service would be smart ways to reuse existing infrastructure, and both would enable car-free or car-lite lives in that part of Otago.

Dunedin’s central railway station, now so very quiet.



8 responses

10 03 2010
Rock The Boat

We can’t get a train line to Melbourne airport; so good luck with one for arse-clown Dunedin. Lovve hie look of this cycleway; will have to check it out when I visit in September. Keep up the good wurk.

11 03 2010

Mr Boat, yes the Skybus is an abomination of massive proportions. Horribly expensive and horrible to ride on because of the video they make you watch and the traffic on the Tullamarine Freeway. 99% of people would replace Skybus with an extension of the train in a heartbeat. Those 1% control the airport, or drive taxis. Bastards the lot of them. I moved to Melbourne before I moved to Wellington. I lasted 10 weeks in Melbourne. It was the worst time of my life.

12 03 2010
Rock The Boat

Sorry to hear that -but it is quite a city compared to provincial Wellington.
On the SkyBus -The government can’t build a rail link to the airport because it has guaranteed the CityLink consortium patronage numbers that would fall in the case of an alternative access method. Therefore, the government would have to pay CityLink fines and any any capital shortfall. Another possibility is that CityLink cannot have any competition so an airport train could not be financed by a private operator. But on the lighter side; said agreement is only for another, say, measly 30 fucking years…

12 03 2010

Some of us like living in the provinces Rock.

Sounds like the public got screwed by whoever allowed CityLink those giant concessions. And everytime I ride the Skybus I’ll curse them.

22 07 2010

I’m another one who saw the light after putting up with Melbourne and all its traffic for over a decade. Three hours commuting every day to work (the last summer with me being heavily pregnant in 35+degrees C heatwaves and NEVER being offered a seat on the trains) finished me off!

I’ve since moved to *very* provincial, “arse-clown Dunedin”, and I reckon it was the best decision we ever made. No commute, no traffic jams, low house prices, world-class university, hospital and living standards – and no fricking CityLink!

12 03 2010
Rock The Boat

Well, I have nothing small cities. However, I’d prefer to either live in the city proper or to live outside of town with a bit of land. All the best to you and the bicycle highways!

25 03 2010

What an awesome ride that would make! When I visited Bermuda about 14 years ago I found the roads to be very narrow and traffic more of a problem than I’d expected. The rail trail with it’s tunnels and wooded cuttings was a great relief, serene and in some cases the only safe place to ride…

In some places it seems that rail trails are the only pieces of land that are not totally dominated by bitumen and concrete. Good luck having this one opened up for cycling.

22 04 2010

In case anyone is interested in more background history of the Dunedin Tunnels and our aims, here’s a 10Mb powerpoint presentation with pictures and info – sorry, no audio accompaniment at this stage. http://www.cavershamtunnel.org.nz/assets/Tunnels_Trail.ppt

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