Greens to greet last Northerner

Green Party members will welcome the arrival of the last Northerner service into Auckland on Saturday with flowers and banners.

“It’ll be a sad day for rail travel in New Zealand,” said Green Party Auckland Transport spokesperson, Keith Locke. “This service is being axed for short-term economic reasons but we’re confident it won’t be too long before ‘service will be resumed’. Rising fuel prices, for example, may make road and air transport less competitive.”

Mr Locke said that train delays due to rundown tracks had undermined Tranz Scenic’s promotion of its rail passenger services, to the detriment of patronage on the Northerner.

“The prime focus for the Government and Toll New Zealand should be to fix up the rail tracks after years of neglect, so that passenger and freight services between our main centres and tourist destinations can be revived and expanded.”

In the meantime, Keith Locke and other Greens will be waiting for the Northerner to pull in at Auckland’s Britomart transport centre tomorrow at 8:50am, to hand flowers to the driver and staff in recognition of a job well done.