New Zealand’s KiwiRail resumes TranzAlpine train operations

23 June 2020 (Last Updated June 23rd, 2020 11:59)

New Zealand state-owned enterprise KiwiRail has announced that it will resume operations of the TranzAlpine train service.

New Zealand’s KiwiRail resumes TranzAlpine train operations
KiwiRail will resume the operations of the TranzAlpine train service after it was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Credit: Aleksejs Ivanovs

New Zealand state-owned enterprise KiwiRail has announced that it will resume operations of the TranzAlpine train service.

This service operates between Christchurch and Greymouth.

KiwiRail Group CEO Greg Miller said: “I’m excited to be able to say that this award-winning train, which last ran on March 22 before the lockdown, will be back from July 4.

“We will resume with a weekend and school holiday timetable in July and August as KiwiRail continues to assess demand in a difficult season for tourism, with borders still closed to international visitors.

“We’re conscious of how important this service is to the West Coast economy and we’re looking forward to bringing visitors to the Coast again, allowing them to see the snow-capped Southern Alps along the way.

“This will be an ideal time for New Zealand families to try something new, and together experience what Lonely Planet has described as one of the world’s ten most amazing rail journeys.”

During July and August, the train service will operate on weekends and all school holidays, including 6 to 17 July on the same weekend timetable.

The fares are changeable, fully refundable and available at NZD75 each seat one way.

The company stated that the resumption of TranzAlpine services is a priority as it serves more overseas customers than domestic.

KiwiRail also operates the Coastal Pacific train that runs between Picton and Christchurch and Northern Explorer between Auckland and Wellington.

The Coastal Pacific train only operates in the winter and the Northern Explorer service is not said to be financially viable.

The company has not made decisions regarding the resume of Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific services.

The commuter rail service between Palmerston North and Wellington has resumed in April.

Earlier this month, KiwiRail started the work to upgrade the Northland Line to boost the journey times, resilience and reliability.