Apart from the services that KiwiRail operate, other rail operators access the rail corridor under contract where they can also provide services to customers.
KiwiRail is the state-owned rail operator that runs freight trains nationally and long-distance train experiences including the Coastal Pacific, TranzAlpine and the Northern Explorer.
Auckland Transport contracts train operating companies to run the Auckland commuter trains services. KiwiRail owns the rail track, and provides access and maintenance services. The current Metro operator is TransDev.
Greater Wellington Regional Council contracts train operating companies to run the Wellington commuter train services. KiwiRail owns the rail track, and provides access and maintenance services. Metlink is the current Metro operator.
New Zealand has around 60 heritage rail operators that run steam or older diesel engines, or display historic trains and carriages. They are often non-profit or charitable organisations.
Some operators have privately owned tracks from 1km to over 5km. In some cases heritage groups are allowed to use the national rail network. Some successful operators are listed below:
- Taieri Gorge Railway
- Steam Incorporated
- Feilding and District Steam Rail Society
- Silverstream Railway
- The Railway Enthusiasts Society
A comprehensive list of rail heritage lines, museums and excursions can be found on the Federation of Rail Organisations of New Zealand www.fronz.org.nz.
Other organisations of interest
Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand
Executive Chair: Murray King
Executive Officer: Mike Mellor
Phone: ++64 4 495 3005
Address: Level 4, Wellington Railway Station, Bunny Street, WELLINGTON
Postal: P O Box 593, WELLINGTON 6140
The New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society