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Loss of patronage results in closure of Overlander

25 July 2006


Continuous loss of patronage results in closure of Overlander


The Overlander train service between Auckland and Wellington is to cease operating at the end of September.

The service, which has run at a substantial loss for many years, faces increased costs and competition from cheaper travel options and is no longer viable.

Chief Executive Officer David Jackson says, “ Toll is well aware of how New Zealanders feel about passenger rail and has approached Government to see if they could assist with the continued operation of the service.

“After working through with the Government both parties concluded there was not the passenger numbers to justify keeping it running. Significant investment would also have been required to replace the aging carriage fleet.

Mr Jackson says, “ there is certainly a place in New Zealand for tourist trains such as the Tranz Coastal and Tranz Alpine in the South Island. These are shorter journeys that people can easily manage in a day and fit in other activities.

Mr Jackson says,” he would like to thank everyone at Tranz Scenic who have worked long and hard to try and keep the Overlander going but in the end the public support was not there”.

The final train will run on Saturday September 30.

ENDS



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