Passenger rail left in cold as Government funds Air New Zealand

Published on 1/04/2022 at 11:55 am.

Save Our Trains Campaign says support needs to be given to climate friendly transport options.

Save Our Trains Spokesperson Paul Callister says the recapitalization of Air New Zealand includes a major investment by the Government, which is the majority shareholder in the airline.

“At the same time, the Government describes the disappearance of climate friendly long distance passenger rail as an operational matter for KiwiRail.”

He says trains already have a very low carbon footprint, but there is no clear decarbonisation pathway for airlines.

Dr Callister says if the Government is serious about meeting climate goals and reducing emissions, it has to start taking intercity passenger rail seriously as a policy issue.

The Save Our Trains campaign was started in late January by concerned members of the public after KiwiRail’s announcement in December 2021 it was pulling same day scheduled passenger services throughout New Zealand.

Dr Callister says the campaign’s other demands are that future passenger rail services are built around concerns for affordability, accessibility, and regional economic development.

He says over 7600 people have signed the Save Our Trains petition.

The petition to Save Our National Passenger Rail Network reads: We call on the Government and KiwiRail to commit to maintaining existing intercity passenger rail services. Furthermore, we ask for a comprehensive national strategy for future passenger rail services built around concern for climate action and economic development.

The petition to Save Our National Passenger Rail Network can be found at:

https://our.actionstation.org.nz/p/saveourtrains

Press release dated 31 Mar 22. Authorized by Victor Billot, from Save Out Trains.

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