The TranzAlpine and TranzCoastal were suspended following the earthquake in Christchurch on 22 February. The TranzAlpine has been suspended until now so resources could be concentrated on the important task of keeping supplies to Christchurch moving via KiwiRail Freight.
“We now have the resources available, staff are ready to come back to work and we have passengers wanting to travel on one of the world’s great train trips,” comments Deborah Hume, KiwiRail’s General Manager Rail Passenger. “We can also support local suppliers and tourism businesses in Canterbury and the West Coast.”
The TranzAlpine will resume operations with an 8.15am departure from the Christchurch passenger railway station in Troup Drive, which was undamaged in the earthquake. “It sends a clear signal that, while Christchurch city centre has been affected, the rest of New Zealand still has stunning scenery and is very much open for tourism business.”
She also comments that KiwiRail will monitor how the TranzAlpine demand goes before making a decision on resuming the TranzCoastal, which operates between Christchurch and Picton. In the meantime, the TranzCoastal service will operate with a coach replacement for at least the next week, also commencing on Monday.
The Overlander, which operates in New Zealand’s North Island, between Wellington and Auckland, is unaffected, and is still operating daily.