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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.
Why is this important?Trains connect communities and are an important part of climate change action.
State owned enterprise, KiwiRail, has announced the permanent end of same-day intercity services between Auckland/Wellington and Picton/Christchurch. It will be replaced by a luxury multi-day rail cruise. This effectively means the end of most of Aotearoa New Zealand's national passenger rail network after more than 100 years of service.
This announcement comes at a time when the Government has said it is committed to climate action and reducing inequality.
Trains have connected friends and families for graduations, weddings, holidays, and business for generations. They have connected towns with the cities, and bought our country together.
But a period of privatisation and decades of underfunding has limited the development and use of our national rail network.
Trains have an important place in our future but it requires investment and planning from this Government.
???? Rail provides a more sustainable and climate friendly method of transport across the country.
???? Rail can invigorate the social and economic life of small communities by making them accessible to remote workers and tourists.
???? Trains can bring our diverse country together by connecting them to people and landscapes across wide distances.
???? Trains provide an accessible method of point-to-point transport for the elderly and disabled.
Rail is an important part of our past, but it should also be part of our future. Join the campaign to support the retention of a national passenger rail network.
This article first appeared on our.actionstation.org.nz
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