KiwiRail's new scenic carriages enter service
03 November 2011 9:09AM
KiwiRail's new scenic carriages have entered service on the Coastal Pacific service between Christchurch and Picton.
KiwiRail's General Manager Passenger Services, Dr Deborah Hume, and Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism's Business Development Manager, Caroline Blanchfield, joined KiwiRail staff at Addington Station this morning to welcome passengers on board the new carriages.
The new purpose-built scenic carriages feature 52 square metres of glass in panoramic side and roof windows, ceiling mounted HD screens, and GPS triggered commentary in a choice of five languages. They are the first carriages to be entirely designed and built in New Zealand since 1941.
Dr Hume said she was very excited to be introducing the new carriages to passengers, alongside a new menu and new staff uniform.
"We want to ensure a totally unique experience for our passengers. Our focus with these new carriages is on providing a more modern, sophisticated customer experience that people will remember and return to.
"We are also excited about what these new carriages could mean for tourism in Canterbury and Marlborough," Dr Hume says.
Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism has applauded the initiative as a milestone for South Island tourism.
"It's a great news story for tourism in our region. The stunning scenery along our coastline is a huge drawcard for visitors and the new stylish carriages and service will ensure the Coastal Pacific's reputation as one the world's great train journeys," Ms Blanchfield says.
A completed set of two new passenger carriages, a cafÃ© car, a viewing car and refurbished luggage will be in service on the Coastal Pacific for the coming months, before being introduced with extra passenger carriages and another cafÃ© car on the TranzAlpine next year. The whole fleet (once they're running on both the Coastal Pacific and the TranzAlpine) will consist of 17 carriages.
"Our passenger services are heading into their busiest season and these changes add up to a fantastic showcase for KiwiRail's South Island passenger services," says Dr Hume. '
Issued by KiwiRail
Contact: Sophie Lee, Senior Communications Advisor, KiwiRail
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