10 Jun 2012

Limited advertising spend for loss-making rail service

10:39 am on 10 June 2012

Figures show KiwiRail has spent more money on advertising charter trips than on the failing Capital Connection commuter service.

The rail operator says it will soon stop the service, which runs between Palmerston North and Wellington, if it cannot stem losses that have exceeded $750,000 in the past 18 months.

Documents show $50,520 was spent to advertise it in the past financial year.

That compares with advertising spending of $239,970 for the Coastal Pacific , $176,820 for the Overlander, $113,670 for the TranzAlpine and $75,780 for charter trips in the same period.

Palmerston North Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway, who is working to save the Capital Connection, says the advertising figures are not surprising.

"It's always been an orphan service within KiwiRail. It's the only commuter service that doesn't receive support from the NZTA and regional councils and it's not one of their tourist-based services."