Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Plans for luxury train on track

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kelvin Davis
Kelvin Davis

A proposal to bring a deluxe sleeper train to New Zealand and set up an Orient Express-style high-end tourism operation is being applauded by Labour's Tourism spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

"It's a brilliant idea, and given it has come from an ex-banker, we expect the Prime Minister as a former banker himself and as Tourism Minister, to take a particular interest in it.

The plan was mooted at a meeting in Whangarei last night to discuss plans to mothball the Auckland-Northland rail line.

"It's just one of a range of options that both the Government and KiwiRail should be exploring," Kelvin Davis said.

"Keeping the line open and viable is something the community wants - as they say it is their line, not Steven Joyce's - and they have come up with a whole heap of viable suggestions to do just that.

"Unfortunately the Government, in its usual short-sighted way, doesn't want to look past its nose. There's a deep water port at Marsden Point. It has no rail access. A spur line out to the refinery has already been investigated.

"Plus it has already been pointed out that widening the tunnels along the route to accommodate the new hi-cube containers could be done for a fraction of what it is costing to build Mr Joyce's 'holiday highway', while the use of low-bed container wagons has also been proposed.

"While KiwiRail now says it will ask its board for another six months' grace before making a final announcement on the future of the line, it has said all along that decision would be made in mid-2012.

"Let's not pretend there isn't an agenda here. The Government's plan is to mothball the line. It should be keeping its options open," Kelvin Davis said.

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.