Rally for Rail: 29th October

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The Campaign for Better Transport is supporting Greenpeace and other organisations and joining the Rally for Rail on Saturday the 29th October in downtown Auckland.  Details to be announced, but keep the date free to support the continued investment in passenger rail in Auckland.

Waikato Trains Now! Public Meeting 22nd August

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The Campaign for Better Transport will be hosting a public meeting in Hamilton:

  • Monday 22nd August, 7:30 pm.
  • Methodist Centre, 60 London St, Hamilton

Come along and hear what local MPs and political parties have to say about passenger rail and public transport in Hamilton.

MPs and candidates from all the major political parties will be speaking. For more information contact

As AKT reports, yesterday the rail service moved a step closer with more than 40 people, including rail party members, councillors and members of parliament, departed Frankton Railway Station on a Silver Fern train.

The Silver Fern about to depart from Frankton

The Silver Fern about to depart from Frankton

The train terminated at The Strand railway station in Parnell, which has been under consideration as a possible end point for the service.The rail working party was established last September following strong public interest for a passenger rail service.

As part of its investigations into the feasibility of a service, the working party has been exploring detailed timetabling options, infrastructure requirements, and costings prior to making a decision on a preferred option.

Silver Fern Test Run for Hamilton To Auckland Rail Service

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Media Release From the Campaign for Better Transport

Regular rail services using the recently refurbished Silver Fern railcar could be the outcome of a trial run this Friday August 12, believes the Campaign for Better Transport.

For the past several months a number of local councils have been working with KiwiRail and other parties to explore options for a daily passenger train service between Hamilton and Auckland. A working party will evaluate using the iconic Silver Fern via a chartered test run, arriving at Auckland’s Strand railway station at 10:40am Friday, before delivering its final recommendation.

Members of the Campaign for Better Transport will be making the train journey to Auckland. “We welcome the opportunity to take the trip,” says Waikato Trains Now! campaign manager Rob George.

“It has been a long time coming and it is good to see some tangible action, even if this trip is only a proof of concept run. We are confident that the merits of the service and public demand will ensure it is the first of many”.

This working party is expected to deliver its final recommendation to the various Councils by early September.

Meanwhile, the Campaign for Better Transport will continue to build public support for the service. A major public meeting on Hamilton public transport issues and the rail service will take place on Monday 22 August, 7.30 pm at the Methodist Centre on London Street, Hamilton. MPs and Candidates from all major political parties have been invited to speak at the meeting.

[ends]

Timetable:

10:40 Silver Fern arrives at the Strand Railway Station

11.10 Depart The Strand Railway Station for Britomart

11.25 Arrive Britomart

Overlander Passenger Numbers Increasing

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Stuff.co.nz reports that patronage is increasing for long-distance train services.

Travellers are taking to the tracks, with a boost in patronage for long-distance trains – including the nearly derailed Overlander.

KiwiRail’s three long-distance services have shown an 11 per cent increase in passenger numbers – or 34,000 more travellers – in the past year.

And, after narrowly avoiding the axe four years ago, the Overlander train service had the highest growth, with a 24 per cent increase.

Figures from KiwiRail show there were 340,000 passenger journeys on the TranzAlpine, TranzCoastal and Overlander in the past financial year, up from 306,000. Of those the TranzAlpine – from Christchurch to Greymouth – was the most popular, with 193,000.

KiwiRail passenger general manager Deborah Hume said the passengers included tourists and local travellers, and showed that people were increasingly seeing rail as a travel option.

“We have worked hard in a challenging international market and it is pleasing to see that rail travel is increasingly popular with a wide variety of people.”

This is a great result for Debbie Hume and the team at KiwiRail. It seems obvious that a Hamilton to Auckland rail service would do extremely well.

VoteTrains.org.nz Goes Live

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Today the Campaign For Better Transport (CBT) has launched a special website http://www.votetrains.org.nz for its hugely popular Waikato commuter trains campaign.

Last week in Hamilton, the CBT launched its “Vote TRAINS” manifesto for local body candidates to sign in support of getting commuter rail services between Hamilton and Auckland. Now this is being backed up with the Vote TRAINS website which allows the public to see online which local body candidates support getting rail services established within the next 18 months.

“Many candidates, from a wide range of political alliances, have approached the CBT to sign the Vote TRAINS manifesto. It states they will strongly advocate to get rail services the region wants. The manifesto also highlights that those candidates, if elected, will lobby central Government for funding equal to what Auckland and Wellington receive for their train services. It will also help Hamilton and Waikato voters to recognise which candidates to vote for if they want regular commuter rail services to and from Auckland” Jon Reeves from the Campaign For Better Transport said.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Letter to Environment Waikato

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Submissions have now finished, but followers of our Waikato Trains Now! campaign might find this letter we sent to Cr Norm Barker at Environment Waikato a useful summary of the current positions.

Environment Waikato are currently deliberating over whether to include Waikato rail in their Annual Plan.

Waikato RWC rail link

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The Waikato Times reports that KiwiRail will be laying on charter trains for Rugby World Cup games in Hamilton.

An Auckland-to-Hamilton train service is being touted for the Rugby World Cup as a way to boost visitors to the city.

KiwiRail public affairs general manager Kevin Ramshaw confirmed it was “looking at excursion trains… between Hamilton and Auckland”, linked to 10 games in either Hamilton or Auckland.

Rudman: All Aboard for the Waikato Express

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Brian Rudman sums up the situation quite nicely in today’s Herald:

Just as people from all around the south of England think nothing of jumping aboard a train to go to London for a day’s shopping, or to catch a show or a concert, Auckland, as New Zealand’s equivalent for entertainment, shopping and just about everything else, should be making it as easy as possible for our Waikato cuzzies to do the same.


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