Rail workers call out Transport Minister’s hypocrisy over electric vehicles – RMTU

By   /   January 11, 2017  /   4 Comments

The union representing working people in New Zealand’s railways says Transport Minister Simon Bridges is acting like a hypocrite for touting the benefits of electric cars while allowing KiwiRail to ditch electric locomotives.

“There’s some incredible irony in this. While Bridges is ditching his diesel vehicle for an electric one, he’s overseeing KiwiRail’s move from electric locomotives to diesel ones,” said Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

In December KiwiRail confirmed that it would not upgrade its electric fleet on the North Island Main Trunk Line, instead opting to downgrade to Chinese-made diesel locomotives.

“If Bridges is sold on the benefit of electric vehicles why isn’t he sold on the benefits of electric locomotives?”

“All the arguments that apply to electric cars apply to electric locomotives. They’re cheaper and better for the planet in the long run. Investing in electric locomotives would even create local jobs,” said Butson.

RMTU modelling shows that KiwiRail’s electric fleet saves 8 million litres in fuel each year and the price of upkeep is only $1.13 per km, but the Chinese-made diesel locomotives will guzzle the gas the electric fleet saves and the likely cost of upkeep will be $2.27 per km.

“This looks, sounds and smells like hypocrisy.”

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4 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    “If Bridges is sold on the benefit of electric vehicles why isn’t he sold on the benefits of electric locomotives?”

    Yes good call, RMTU, and with Mr Bridges history we can expect no response from him whatsoever, SO SUE MORONEY AND THE OTHER OPPOSITION TRANSPORT SPOKESPEOPLE SHOULD CHALLENGE MR BRIDGES AT PARLIAMENT.

    Labour should now state that now it in the next Labour lead Government will finally commit to the final completion of the entire rail main trunk and eventual branch provincial lines as promised when the project they began during the 1960’s was promised to make rail more efficient and economic and environmentally friendly.

    LABOUR; – BEGIN ACTING LIKE THE NEXT GOVERNMENT IN WAITING PLEASE NOW!

    SHOW LEADERSHIP HERE!

  2. Kim dandy says:

    This is the joke that is New Zealand!

  3. John W says:

    Less tax for corporate investors. ( the ones who actually pay tax).

    Spend nothing if possible.

    Nothing to do with climate action, nor service to the public, not anything to do with what is good for NZ and the world long term

  4. Helena says:

    This decision reeks of big corporation. Bridges is merely the puppet.