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Global rail operator takes the helm

News release
For immediate release
19 August 2004

Global rail operator takes the helm

A new era in Auckland passenger rail begins next week when Connex, one of the world’s leading passenger transport companies, commences rail services on the city’s network.

The new operation will be formally launched by the Hon. Judith Tizard, Associate Minister of Transport and Minister for Auckland, at a celebration at the Britomart Transport Centre on Monday 23 August.

The Connex Auckland General Manager, Chris White, says he is proud to be involved in the delivery of rail services in Auckland and looks forward to working with the Auckland Regional Council to enhance customers’ rail travel.

“Connex brings unique technical skills from around the world to the Auckland business and we will be drawing on these to assist the ARC in the development of rail services,” he says.

Initially rail users will see few changes. “It’s business as usual,” says Mr White. “Staff will wear a new uniform, and the look of the tickets has changed slightly, but timetables, fares and fare boundaries remain the same.”

The Auckland Regional Council's Passenger Transport Committee Chair, Councillor Catherine Harland, says rail in Auckland has entered a time of change and improving rail services in Auckland will be a gradual process.

“After decades of neglect, changes to rail services are happening step-by-step over time as infrastructure, such as tracks, signals and stations is upgraded, additional trains are delivered and further staff are trained. It will be a significant challenge to meet the needs of passengers and run services with such a wholesale transformation underway. Ups and downs along the way are sure to happen.”

“The ARC and Connex will work in partnership to incrementally improve the delivery of rail services as these major changes take place, and together with our regional transport partners, continue over time to enhance and develop Auckland’s rail network”, she says.

Connex is one of the world’s leading private operators in the passenger transport sector, providing urban, suburban, inter-city and regional passenger services on buses, trains, trams and ferries. Operating in 22 countries around the world, Connex carries 1.5 billion passengers to their destinations every year. As a rail operator, Connex has 25 rail businesses in six countries.

Connex is the largest private transport operator in Australasia operating the suburban rail network in Melbourne; monorail, light rail and buses Sydney and buses in Noumea.

Connex specialises in the delegated management of public transport services; working on behalf of local, regional and national government authorities.

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