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New premium services

KiwiRail is one of New Zealand’s largest tourism operators, delivering a million tourists around New Zealand and to some of our less visited regions each year.

Our award-winning scenic rail services are growing and with visitor numbers to our shores expected to increase 37 per cent by 2024 (MBIE), there is considerable potential to expand our scenic trains for the benefit of regional communities.

With funding through the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, we will be:

  • running our Coastal Pacific service between Picton and Christchurch all year round, and adding another carriage
  • adding two more carriages to the highly popular TranzAlpine, which runs between Christchurch and Greymouth
  • adding a new premium carriage to each train, to attract high-value tourists
  • upgrading Picton, Blenheim, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Arthurs Pass and Greymouth train stations to accommodate the longer trains
  • investing in a new booking system to support the premium service and allow for package deals with other tourism attractions.
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The award-winning TranzAlpine passes through a snowy landscape in the South Island.

Boost for Coastal Pacific

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks with passengers on-board the Coastal Pacific, shortly before announcing funding to extend the service.

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Bringing thousands more passengers into the regions: By 2027 the improved services are estimated to bring another 37,000 passengers a year to the West Coast; and 43,000 to Marlborough and Kaikoura*.

Supporting the creation of more jobs for locals: Their spending in the regions will almost double on the West Coast, to $80.3m by 2027; and more than double to $82.5m across Marlborough and Kaikoura. This is estimated to support about 700 more jobs across the three regions*.

Working with regions to develop tourism opportunities: To encourage people to stay for longer and deliver greater economic benefits for the regions, KiwiRail will be partnering with existing and encourage new local tourism providers, including iwi, through developing tourism packages for passengers.

* Based on MBIE Tourism data and using an EY validated methodology