All Aboard – we launch this Sunday!

25 April 2017


The reality of a regular train service between Hamilton and Auckland is one step closer as The Rail Opportunity Network (TRON) moves to go public with its plans this weekend.

Speaking on Free FM this morning, media spokesperson and passionate rail advocate Susan Trodden explained how the group intended to get the issue ‘up close and personal’ with decision makers.  ‘’This weekend TRON is inviting the public to come and hear what we have been doing in the background over the past twelve months’’ she said.  ‘’We want people to come and learn about the plans to move this project forward, and answer the many questions that both proponents and naysayers have been challenging us with’’.

When questioned on the viability of a commuter service, Ms Trodden was realistic.  ‘’We know that in the short term a rail service might not turn a profit – but it’s important that the bigger picture of viability is understood by our decisionmakers’’ she explained.  ‘’We know through a recent extensive survey that there are in excess of 3000 car trips being made each week between Auckland and Hamilton by regular commuters.  That’s a lot of wasted time that employers are missing out on, a whole lot of stress for the drivers who are completely at the mercy of Auckland traffic, and we haven’t even started on the conversation about the health and safety , or social impact aspects of people spending so long getting to and from work’’.

There has been much discussion and misinformation surrounding the viability study completed by Waikato Regional Council and this will also be addressed at Sundays event.  A panel of experts will be present to answer questions including explaining the technical requirements of a train service, and the group will also be presenting a petition for Central Government that already has more than ten thousand signatures on it in support of commuter rail.

‘’Key organisations such as the University of Waikato, Kiwirail and Tainui Group Holdings are also keen to see conversations progressed ‘’says TRON Chair, Rob Weir.  ‘Our role is to be advocates for the service and we look forward to seeing real progress this year’’.

The TRON launch event will be held at the Frankton Hotel in Commerce Street from 3 pm until 5 pm.  At four o’clock there will be the opportunity to move outside and greet the Northern Explorer as it makes its way from the Frankton Railway Station to Auckland.


RADIO INTERVIEW – Time is right for a commuter rail link between Auckland Hamilton says TRON

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We are on radiolive with Duncan Garner talks with group founder Sue Maroney.

Hamilton Train Network Formed

A group of Hamiltonians working to get train passenger services established between Hamilton and Auckland have come together to form the The Rail Opportunity Network (TRON).

A group of Hamiltonians working to get train passenger services established between Hamilton and Auckland have come together to form the The Rail Opportunity Network (TRON).

Hamilton-based MP Sue Moroney says the time is right for a strong push for passenger rail services between the largest and fourth-largest cities.

“There has been a lot of support for a commuter train to Auckland for years now and I thought it was time to bring business, social providers, community, educators and transport specialists together to get this project going,” says Sue. “I feel inspired by the energy, creativity and passion people have for this project.

“There are more people than ever before commuting between Hamilton and Auckland and the commuter train makes so much sense to address congestion, improve safety, raise productivity, address the housing crisis and reduce carbon emissions. It will open up great opportunities for our city and region.”

TRON has an interim steering group and a Facebook page with more than 550 supporters.

It has plans to make passenger train services a local body election issue, with a public meeting, the revival of a 13,000-strong petition and other activities this year.

“TRON seemed the obvious name for a group of people who are passionate about our city and its future. I know the project has huge public support – we just need leadership from local and central Government to make it happen.”