New driver at Dunedin Railways

Craig Osbourne is taking over as chief executive of Dunedin Railways in September. Photo: Peter...
Craig Osbourne is taking over as chief executive of Dunedin Railways in September. Photo: Peter McIntosh.
The man taking  charge  of Dunedin Railways  will  use his experience in the tourism industry to help the business grow.

Craig Osbourne said he hoped to build on the foundations  put in place by outgoing chief executive Murray Bond, who had been in the role for 25 years.

He would use his six years working at Real Journeys Ltd in Te Anau, where he was group chief financial officer, to  increase the number of tourists taking the Taieri Gorge Railway trip by  making the company’s heritage offering "fresh’’ and ‘‘relevant".

He was excited about the role and said being chief executive of an "iconic" Dunedin business was a good opportunity to re-enter the tourism industry.

The business needed to take advantage of New Zealand’s growing tourism,  particularly in the shoulder season.He is  a commercial franchise director at Pacific Edge Ltd in Dunedin.

Dunedin Railways chairman Geoff Thomas said the challenges the Dunedin City Council-owned business faced included the continual upgrading of infrastructure to meet modern demands. There was also "a lot of scope" to boost passenger numbers, particularly in the shoulder season, Mr Thomas said.

The business was not a huge profit-maker for the council and Mr Thomas did not envisage that would change.

The council was happy with it attracting and servicing tourists.

"They don’t see us as a money-making venture.

"Particularly when 95% our passengers are from out of Dunedin."

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