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Kiwi tourist trains to restart

Kiwi tourist trains to restart KiwiRail has announced plans to restart its tourism trains – the Coastal Pacific and Northern Explorer.

The Coastal Pacific runs from spring to autumn, offering vistas of the 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 Raurimu Spiral and stopping briefly in Palmerston North, Ohakune, National Park and Hamilton.

‘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.’

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

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