Rail Union Backs Green Campaign For Lower North Island Rail – Rail And Maritime Transport Union

The union representing rail workers is backing a call from the Green Party for more Government investment in regional passenger rail.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson says ongoing underfunding is causing problems with regional passenger rail services, notably between Wellington and Palmerston North.

Mr Butson says the Union supported the business case and funding commitments provided by Horizons Regional Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Waka Kotahi for 22 new commuter trains for these routes.

“We are pleased to support the Green open letter and campaign to promote regional rail and in particular services like the Capital Connection and the Wairarapa Connection.”

He says the introduction of new hybrid electric trains and improving infrastructure would provide greater reliability and frequency of service, which would build passenger numbers.

Mr Butson says there are strong environmental and social reasons to move commuters and travellers onto passenger rail.

He says the only way New Zealand will meet its goals to reduce carbon emissions will be to have a much higher use of passenger rail.

“Rail workers are keen to play our part in building a low carbon, modern rail network for the 21st century.”

The Green Party launched its campaign in Palmerston North on 12 July.