'Sombre' farewell: Passenger train departs for North Island

Rail supporters gathered in Dunedin this morning to wave off what may be the last passenger train travelling through Dunedin.

More than 20 Dunedin Railways Limited workers and Keep Dunedin Rolling campaign supporters gathered at the Railway Station as a locomotive and carriages leased by Dunedin Railways departed from the Railway Station for the North Island this morning.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union Otago branch secretary Dave Kearns said he and others came to wave off what may be the last Dunedin railways service to run through Dunedin.

"We think this might be the last opportunity for people to see a passenger train."

About 50 people would lose their jobs before Tuesday, after Dunedin Railways Limited announced it would mothball its track and equipment in a bid to avoid closing entirely.

Dunedin Railways Limited workers and supporters farewell a passenger train leaving for the North...
Dunedin Railways Limited workers and supporters farewell a passenger train leaving for the North Island. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

"It's a sombre time.

"It's a weird situation we're in - we've got support from the owners, public and politicians, but because of two or three people it's been given the chop.

"I do hope the decision will be reversed."

Dunedin Railways Limited staff member Courtney Kilner hoped the decision - and the loss of her job - would be reversed before next Tuesday.

"Today seeing it [the train] go by has made it a whole lot more real, it's a slap in the face really.

"I'm hoping for the best but it's a very sad situation."


Fair enough it is sad but you can't tell me these 14 or so people in this picture are all part of the same Covid-19 bubble. Are they not observing the distancing protocol for social distancing (SD)? People this is part of the problem the NZ economy will not get better faster if people disregard SD and this is why things have gone down hill, IMO until such time people start observing SD again it will assist in putting Covid-19 in the grave.

Huh? SD is not required anymore under Alert Level 1. What exactly do you mean by "things have gone down hill"?

Arthur Rockliffe will be spinning in his grave,absolutely outrageous the council should hang their heads in shame.

What have we done to deserve this completely incompetent council? Can we have an early election please before they do any more irreparable damage?



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