Call for Govt to save Overlander train
Should I be surprised that a union official is unhappy about the Overlander ceasing service with the loss of 35 jobs? Of course not. But should the government step in and "save" the Overlanders? Again, of course not. It's simple economic reality, if the service isn't making any money (it isn't, it's actually losing money) then it isn't worth running. And I suspect deep down Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary Wayne Butson knows this.
He acknowledged that the service has been suffering from diminishing patronage for years and had been losing money but said the Governmentshould step in to ensure its continuing viability.
So the service is being used by less and less people, has been losing money for years, but we should "save" it? I'm sorry, I just don't understand the arguement. Why is this the government's role to "save" these money losing services? Should my tax dollars be wasted on something that fewer people are using each year just because people feel all romantic about trains?
Toll Holdings have made a business decision, with flights as cheap as they are now people can travel from Wellington to Auckland for around the same price in less than 1 hour. The Overlander takes 12! Please people, drop the romantic view that we "need" a train service and accept the reality that we simply aren't using trains anymore.
Blogged with Flock