Under embargo until 5am 01 August 2018
Coastal Pacific train service to return from December
KiwiRail’s iconic Coastal Pacific
scenic journey will roll again between Picton and Christchurch from December 1 this year, two years after the service
was put on hold because of the devastating Kaikoura earthquake.
“We are delighted to confirm this well-loved service will be running again this summer, allowing thousands of travellers
from around the world to once again enjoy this spectacular coastline by train,” says KiwiRail’s GGM Sales and
Commercial, Alan Piper.
“We expect our services to fill up fast, particularly as many people will be keen to take advantage of the service to
see the amazing job done to restore the road and railway line through this area.
“This will be very welcome news for the people of Kaikoura, as the Coastal Pacific plays a critical role in the local
economy by bringing thousands of tourists into the area.
“Before the earthquake the Coastal Pacific carried about 43,000 passengers into the Marlborough/Kaikoura regions during
its summer season. These passengers are estimated to spend almost $35m in the two regions, supporting 300 local jobs,”
Mr Piper says.
“KiwiRail is one of New Zealand’s largest tourism operators, delivering a million tourists around the country each year
on its Great Journeys of New Zealand
ferry and train services.
“Our scenic trains play an important role in getting domestic and international tourists out into often hard to reach
regions, and are becoming increasingly popular. Having the service back up and running reconnects our journeys across
New Zealand allowing people to travel from Auckland to Christchurch and across to the West Coast by train and ferry.
“February and March this year were the biggest months ever on the South Island’s award-winning TranzAlpine
rail journey and the North Island’s Northern Explorer
, with business up more than 10% on any previous year.
“Overall, TranzAlpine passenger business has grown by 90% over the past five years, while the Northern Explorer is up
“KiwiRail is determined to champion tourism growth across the country, working with national and regional partners to
deliver connected journeys and quality tourism experiences,” Mr Piper says.
The Coastal Pacific service was suspended after the 14 November Kaikoura earthquake
in 2016. The Main North Line reopened to restricted freight services in September last year, just 10 months after the
Freight services have been running at night to allow work to continue during the day to repair the rail and road. Day
time freight services are set to resume later this year.
• The Coastal Pacific will run daily from December 1, 2018 (except for Christmas Day) through until late April 2019
• The Coastal Pacific services departs from Christchurch each morning, and returns from Picton each afternoon
• Booking for this service can be made by visiting greatjourneysofnz.co.nz/coastal-pacific
• Key stops along the route include Rangiora, Kaikoura and Blenheim
• The journey includes 98km travelling along the rugged Pacific Coastline. It also journeys through 22 tunnels and
crosses 175 bridges