The end of an era for passenger rail

This Sunday will see the end of an era, says Green MP Keith Locke, as three North Island train services chug into the station for the last time.

The Geyserland Express (Auckland-Rotorua), the Kaimai Express (Auckland-Tauranga) and the Bay Express (Wellington-Napier) all make their final run on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Locke will be waiting at Auckland train station with flowers and a word of thanks for the crew of the Geyserland and Kaimai trains, which will both be arriving between 4.30 and 5.05pm.

“It’s a real shame that after decades of service to the Bay of Plenty and Auckland regions, it has had to come to this — undermining regional development and tourism and the opportunity for people to use this comfortable and environmentally friendly form of transport,” he said.

“This move will also add to the congestion on the roads out of Auckland,” said Mr Locke.

Mr Locke said that the rail services are an important infrastructural asset for New Zealand, and as such deserve to have the same Governmental support as Air New Zealand.

“The Greens will work towards the resurrection of these services. If the Government can buy back Air New Zealand why can’t they also put more money into maintaining rail services?”