This is about the Kiwirail decision to shave 1 hour off the 12 hour rail trip between Auckland and Wellington "based upon advice from tourism groups and staff". They say that travellers want a quicker journey. In order to acheive this, the train will in future only stop at Hamilton, National Park, Ohakune, and Palmerston North.
I have just signed the petition to stop the changes to the Overlander train service. I am an active cycle tourist from the Kapiti Coast.
I cannot understand what Kiwirail are thinking - as the government funds the NZ Cycle Trail focussing on small towns, Kiwirail proposes to take away the ability of cyclists to link with bike hubs like Taumaranui. Surely this action will remove tourists from the rail experience - not add them.
And as a user of the link to Auckalnd I believe that a one hour saving is not material. If you are in a hurry you would choose to fly or drive. The reason for the rail choice is precisely because it does take a whole day. An hour makes no difference.
I have asked the NZ Cycle Trail what action it is considering to persuade Kiwirail to reconsider this decision.
Should CAN branches write to Kiwirail?
Lynn Sleath (Mr)
Kapiti Cycling Inc