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Chairman delighted at continued Overlander service

ARC Chairman delighted about continued Overlander service

29 September 2006

Auckland Regional Council Chairman Michael Lee has welcomed the news that the Overlander train service will continue.

“I am delighted that Toll NZ has decided to keep the Overlander going.

“The four regional councils are already discussing how we can assist with marketing and promoting the service.

“There are already some neat ideas being worked up and a lot of enthusiasm amongst our staff,” said Mr Lee.

“I want to thank the public for the remarkable outpouring of support for our efforts to save the Overlander.

“I also want to thank CEO David Jackson and Toll NZ for making this gesture of goodwill to the public of New Zealand.

“The Overlander is a vital piece of infrastructure linking Auckland to other North Island communities and to Wellington. The main trunk line is a vital element of New Zealand’s land transport ‘resilience’.”

“All over the world rail systems are being upgraded. Rising fuel prices and environmental costs means the future for rail should also be assured here in New Zealand.

“Auckland is currently experiencing a boom in rail passenger numbers – we are now carrying over five million people a year, double the number of two years ago.

“I urge New Zealanders continue to support and use the Overlander service, and I hope Toll, the Government and the regional councils can work together to make the Overlander a truly outstanding passenger experience.”

The Chairs of Auckland, Waikato, Manawatu/Wanganui and Greater Wellington regional councils will travel home by train after the next national meeting of regional council chairs on 28 October.

--

On 22 August the Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee resolved to "support the chairs of the Auckland Regional Council, Environment Waikato, Horizons Manawatu and Greater Wellington Regional Council in approaching the Government and Toll Holdings advocating for the continuation of the Overlander for an interim period of 12 months so that the possibility of constructing a joint financial rescue package and developing a new operational strategy for the Auckland Wellington passenger rail service, can be investigated.”

ENDS

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