Well done to the CBT’s Jon Reeves, ably assisted by Barry Palmer and Ross Galloway:
Leading rail industry consultants have added weight to a campaign to run a commuter train between Hamilton and Auckland, saying economic benefits would “comfortably” exceed operating losses.
They predict $15.5 million over 15 years in economic benefits including reduced road congestion from a single daily return service, against an operating loss of $6.6 million.
That would give the service a benefit-cost ratio of 1.9, or an economic return of $1.90 for each $1 invested by the Government and ratepayers.
The analysis is in a preliminary business case prepared for the Environment Waikato regional council, which is being urged by campaigners including Hamilton City leaders to lease Silver Fern rail-cars being taken off the Pukekohe-Auckland commuter run at the end of next month.
Although the council omitted a Hamilton-Auckland service from its draft three-year regional land transport programme of projects for which it will seek Government subsidies, it has received 40 submissions urging it not to lose the chance to obtain the rail-cars… [more]
It was a real last ditch effort from Jon (and a trip to Hamilton) to get the rail link into Hamilton’s plan. Nice one.