National sold the rail network in 1993. Labour has returned it to public ownership, but at what cost?
As well as the government buying back the trains and ferries for more than they were valued by Toll, they have granted a six year rent free period on existing buildings.
I fail to see how this will win the government votes in the election. It seems absurd.
What’s more hilarious is Paul Little from Toll saying that they were sorry to see the rail network go. More like laughing all the way to the bank.
At the same time as running a rail network without paying full rent, and then selling it for 50% more than it was worth they have had the opportunity to build a vast road transport network that is now in direct competition to rail. You could argue that the rising cost of oil will make train transport more viable in the long run, but I get the sense that Toll has done the sums and calculations better than the government has.