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Jul 14, 2023Liked by Malcolm McCracken, Darren Davis

That timetable from 2000 would allow day holiday trips to the Tron from Auckland. Bring it on.

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Some weeks back (while 1/2 price fares were still in place) I looked into catching Te Huia for a weekend family day outing from Auckland to Hamilton. The service, as it was even before all this new bedlam, is so frustratingly silly... I can't recall the exact details, but from memory the timetable offered us just one option. We would spend less than 2 hours in Hamilton (including getting to and from the station to wherever we might want to go), and required proprietary fare cards in addition to the AT Hop card we'd need to get from home to the Auckland station... There would be thousands of Auckland families, like ours, who would love the novelty of a train to Hamilton on weekends if it wasn't such a hostile experience. Such a wasted opportunity.

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“imagine if we treated roads or trucking companies that same way” - And there you have it. It's not just the effect on passenger services. Because most of KiwiRail freight services are contracted to be supplied by 'logistics companies - mostly trucking companies - whole regions are being denied the right to see containers, logs etc sent by rail, rather than through the streets of urban and rural New Zealand, with all the collateral effects that has.

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