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New improved Overlander now needs public support

12 December 2006

New improved Overlander now needs public support

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley was today invited by Toll Holdings to cut the ribbon on the newly refurbished Overlander train, in recognition of the key role the Green Party has played in saving the service. The seven days a week summer service of the renovated Overlander begins on December 15.

"This iconic train was saved only because of the vast groundswell of public opinion from ordinary New Zealanders up and down the country, who signed the Greens petition to save the Overlander, and who made it absolutely clear they wanted this essential service to continue," Ms Kedgley says.

"Toll is to be congratulated for taking heed of what people from all walks of life were telling them and the Government - which unfortunately, chose to remain deaf to the overwhelming case for saving the Overlander.

"At a time when countries all round the world are investing in expanding their rail services, it was always quite insane for the Government to do nothing, and to allow such a key element in our national transport system to fall by the wayside.

"If we are serious about climate change, we have to promote long distance passenger rail, as well as rail freight. We also need to electrify the track and invest in maintaining the track properly. The current rail network is in a state of disrepair, and urgently needs upgrading.

"Now that Toll has made the right initial move to refurbish the train both inside and out, it is up to all of us to get in behind and support the Overlander, and thus ensure its future."

ENDS


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