The union representing railway workers is backing a Green Party call for more government investment in regional passenger rail, especially between Wellington and Palmerston North.
Rail and Maritime Union general secretary Wayne Butson said continued underfunding was causing problems for regional passenger rail services.
Butson says the union supports the business case and funding commitments provided by the Horizons Regional Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Waka Kotahi for 22 new commuter trains for those routes.
“We are happy to support the green open letter and campaign to promote regional rail and in particular services like Capital Connection and Wairarapa Connection.”
He says the introduction of new hybrid electric trains and improved infrastructure would provide greater reliability and frequency of service, which would increase passenger numbers.
Butson says there are strong environmental and social reasons to move commuters and travelers to passenger rail.
He says the only way New Zealand will meet its carbon reduction targets will be to have much greater use of passenger rail.
“Railway workers want to play their part in building a modern, low-carbon rail network for the 21st century.”
The Green Party launched its campaign in Palmerston North yesterday.
Save Our Trains supports the Greens campaign