Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

KiwiRail’s Tourism Trains Back On Track For Summer

All KiwiRail’s long distance scenic services will be back this summer, giving New Zealanders the opportunity to see their spectacular country from the comfort of a train.

“When New Zealand went into its Level 4 Covid lockdown at the end of March, all our scenic trains stopped running and we needed to gauge the market and plan the services’ return,” KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says.

“We also had to carry out maintenance work on the carriages we use, and that work was delayed by the Covid lockdown. We prioritised the TranzAlpine, which runs between Christchurch and Greymouth, so it was the first service to resume.

“We have now reached the stage where we are able to announce plans to also re-start the Coastal Pacific and Northern Explorer.

“A record winter school holidays on Interislander and a highly successful winter promotion of the TranzAlpine gives us the confidence that the public will support these tourism trains which will be back in time for the summer holidays.”

The Coastal Pacific runs from spring to autumn, offering vistas of the spectacular coastline between Picton and Christchurch, via Kaikoura, during a five-hour journey.

The Northern Explorer runs between Auckland and Wellington over more than 10 hours, taking in views of Mts Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu, as well as twisting through the famed Raurimu Spiral and stopping briefly in Palmerston North, Ohakune, National Park and Hamilton.

“Pre Covid, rail touring was enjoying a resurgence throughout the world and, with the support of a promised $80 million of Government funding, KiwiRail was planning an ambitious upgrade of its scenic fleet and services,” Mr Miller says.

“The indefinite closure of New Zealand’s borders to international tourists, and the re-purposing by the Government of some of the proposed funding means that, for now, we are hibernating some of those plans and instead concentrating on designing viable timetables and services for the domestic market.

“New Zealanders can be assured that the scenery has not changed, and nor has the warmth of the welcome from KiwiRail’s staff who are eager to be back on track.

“Bookings are already open for our premier service, the TranzAlpine, running from Christchurch to Greymouth and same-day return, on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. From September, customers will be able to enjoy the traditional Scenic class seats or pay extra to try a new Scenic-Plus class, which includes enhanced personal food and beverage service at your table.

“In spring, the Coastal Pacific will resume travelling from Christchurch to Picton each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning, with a return service the same afternoon.

“Because the Northern Explorer has competition from airlines on the same route and is a much longer trip which is more difficult to make financially sustainable for KiwiRail, there has been speculation over its return.

“We’re pleased to announce that it’s coming back and we are currently working on the timetable, crewing and ticket prices and anticipate it resuming prior to the summer season.

“It looks like all New Zealanders will be holidaying at home this summer and as people plan their breaks, we urge them to demonstrate their support for environmentally friendly travel and choose to sit back and connect with the landscape on their national rail network.

“We will monitor the popularity and profitability of the three scenic services over summer, while also looking at additional destinations and opportunities.

“In addition to these scheduled services, we are looking to expand our fleet to offer enhanced charter services throughout the year.

“Despite uncertainties in the current market, KiwiRail is committed to playing a long-term, vital role in New Zealand’s tourism sector and we are looking forward to rolling out our fleet again.”

Bookings for the TranzAlpine are currently open from September 4 till the end of November, operating four-day weekends (Friday-Monday) and every day during the school holidays from Friday, September 25 to Monday October 12. Bookings for the TranzAlpine from December, and for the Coastal Pacific and Northern Explorer, will open in the next few weeks.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

The Narrow Divide: New Poll Shows Tight Political Race For SME Votes

In a major turnaround following nearly a decade of MYOB election polls, Labour is currently the preferred political party of New Zealand’s SMEs, with 38% of SME owners and decision makers intending to vote red in the upcoming General Election, ... More>>

Reserve Bank: Further Easing In Monetary Policy Delivered

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all. The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to expand the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme up to $100 billion so as to further lower retail interest rates in order to achieve its remit. The eligible assets remain ... More>>

Retail: Post-Lockdown Retail Card Spending Picks Up

The rise in retail card spending was boosted by sales of furniture, hardware, and appliances, Stats NZ said today. “For a third consecutive month, card spending on the long-lasting goods (durables) remained at higher levels than last year, after ... More>>


Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: