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Mayoral Support For Dunedin Railways Welcomed By Campaign

The future of Dunedin Railways including the iconic Taieri Gorge Railway has been given a major boost after mayoral support for the Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling campaign.

The Dunedin City Council Planning and Environment Committee will vote on Thursday 14 May on a motion put by Mayor Aaron Hawkins that:

1. Continues to see a future for rail in Dunedin;
2. Supports the Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling campaign as a vehicle for promoting that;
3. Continues to advocate for improved funding and policy settings for rail, and to explore funding and service delivery models for rail in the city where appropriate;
4. Requests a report in time for Annual Plan deliberations costing a feasibility study for a commuter rail pilot using Dunedin Railways Ltd assets, in time to be of use for the Regional Public Transport Plan; and
5. Explores funding options to offset the cost of this.

Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling spokesperson Dave Kearns says the move by the Mayor is a positive one and builds on support from other councillors such as Cr Jim O'Malley.

"We congratulate councillors and Mayor Hawkins who have taken on board new information and who have listened to strong community support for keeping Dunedin Rail rolling."

Mr Kearns says further information supplied to Councillors about the long term effects of mothballing the railway was an important factor, as well as the practical suggestions put forward from the campaign.

He says the next step is to look at options around commuter services, track maintenance and the availability of Government funds from its infrastructure programme.

Mr Kearns says the campaign looked forward to working with the Council and other stakeholders to build a sustainable future for Dunedin Railways.

The campaign had gained over 2000 signatures for its online petition.

© Scoop Media

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