New Zealand's shrinking passenger railway network

Published on 10/02/2023 at 7:42 am.

Dr André Brett online video presentation, discuss why Auckland and Wellington have modern electrified commuter railway lines but beyond their outer suburbs, passenger rail has all but disappeared from New Zealand. A century ago, things were much different: passenger trains served almost all towns and villages of note and many rural areas.

There has been a steady decline, first in the disappearance of local services, then of intercity express trains and commuter services in several New Zealand’s cities. This talk will examine the reasons for the contraction of New Zealand passenger rail network, showing that it was not inevitable—it was the result of an accumulation of decisions.

For further information concerning the points raised in the online video presentation -

Dr André Brett is Lecturer of History at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Dr Brett has written widely on political, environmental, and transport history: he is the author of four books, over twenty scholarly journal articles and chapters, and many other contributions to TV and museums. His most recent book, 'Can’t Get There from Here: New Zealand Passenger Rail since 1920.

Dr André Brett book 'Can't Get There from Here' can be purchase online.

The online video presentation aired on 6 July 2022 at Auckland Central City Library on 6 July 2022.

This online video presentation on is for education purposes only and the promotion of better sustainable environmentally friendly passenger rail travel in Aotearoa New Zealand.

If you support the Connecting Communities Initiative, have your say or become proactive by getting involved in local better public transport campaign groups.

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