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Time Running Out For Overlander

Time Running Out For Overlander

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The Overlander train service between Auckland and Wellington is to cease operating at the end of September. Australian owned Toll Holdings has cancelled the service – which has run for nearly a century – because it is allegedly no longer 'viable'.

Green MP Sue Kedgley and Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons brave a chilly Wellington morning in order to save the Overlander service
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Toll approached the NZ Government in an effort to save the service but unfortunately for train buffs the Govt decided that the market should dictate the fate of passenger rail – ie it should cease to exist.

This morning the Green Party started a campaign seeking to give the Overlander a two-year stay of execution. Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons and Green MP Sue Kedgley attempted to drum up support and signatures at the Wellington railway station before waving goodbye to an – at least this morning - well patronised Overlander.

"Scrapping this service is such a backward step," said Ms Fitzsimons in a press statement.

"All over the world, train travel is on the comeback trail as a tourism experience. We now urgently need to win a reprieve for the Overlander, so that Toll can devise a targeted marketing campaign aimed at both international and domestic travellers. We can then work together with central and regional government to save this Kiwi icon."

Members of the Maritime and Rail Union were also out in force seeking to save passenger rail in New Zealand.

The future of passenger rail in New Zealand – an empty set of tracks?

ENDS

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