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TranzRail Sabotaging Rail In New Zealand

6 September 2001

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said TranzRail were sabotaging the parts of the New Zealand rail system they were no longer interested in and the Government has so far stood by and let them do it.

It was reported today that rail services in Wellington are fast approaching a crisis as TranzRail is withdrawing old carriages and refusing to replace them. TranzRail has warned other carriages are past their use-by date and as the company has no spare capacity, there is a possibility of service cuts.

"TranzRail have known that these carriages were aging for years but stopped maintaining or refurbishing them years ago and have allowed them to be run into the ground," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"Given the time it takes to order new stock, urgent consideration needs to be given to refurbishing these now.

"TranzRail are basically sabotaging New Zealand's rail system. The Greens have begun an investigation into the extent to which this is happening across the country," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the viability of a unified national rail infrastructure could very easily be lost unless the Government got involved and negotiated to take back the ownership of the physical tracks before lines were closed and the rails ripped up for scrap.

"The Greens gave the Government a plan for how the New Zealand rail network could be saved nearly six months ago and we have seen no action. Meanwhile TranzRail have sold their passenger services resulting in the closure of five services and have refused to maintain or upgrade their assets.

"TranzRail is running down the system and, in situations like Wellington, holding a gun to the head of central and local Government. If services in Wellington are going to continue at the current level - let alone at an improved level - somebody is going to have to step in to make it happen," said Ms Fitzsimons

Ends




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