Rail’s value to the community recognised

 The Coastal Pacific daily train’s nomination as a finalist in the New Zealand Tourism Awards Community Engagement category underlines the value rail can add to the regions.

 “We’re pleased to get this recognition of what we can contribute to communities,” Head of Tourism and Marketing Ah-Leen Rayner says.

“Our national Great Journeys of New Zealand tourist trains help drive regional growth and that includes in Kaikoura and Marlborough, where Coastal Pacific passengers are estimated to spend $34m across the two regions, supporting about 300 local jobs.

“The success of this season, when we carried more than 34,000 passengers, underlines the potential we see in this much-loved service. We are delighted it is on track for a major expansion.”

The Government has invested $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to introduce new premium carriages on the Coastal Pacific, as well as make it a year-round service.

The Coastal Pacific travels daily over summer along the Main North Line between Christchurch and Picton.

It returned on 1 December last year after a two-year hiatus following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, with the season wrapping up in April.

“KiwiRail, along with its partners in NCTIR - the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery – worked closely with the community to restore the line as quickly as possible.

“Kiwis and overseas visitors alike have been thrilled to once again be able to travel along the stunning Kaikoura coastline by train, as well as get an up-close view of the amazing post-quake rebuild effort.

“I’d also like to congratulate the finalists in the Industry Enabler Award, which is sponsored by Great Journeys of New Zealand.

 “Auckland Airport, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) & Tomahawk and the Department of Conservation have all made big contributions to building the tourism industry in New Zealand.

 “I wish them all luck for the award, with the winner due to be announced on October 24.”