KiwiRail’s new Northern Explorer train service between Auckland and Wellington will have two more stops added to the timetable at Papakura and Paraparaumu to accommodate for the large catchments of people in Auckland South and Wellington North.
“Since launching the Northern Explorer service in June, we have received a number of verbal and written requests for these two stops to be added to relieve the frustration of people having to travel into the city centres only to have to travel back out on the train,” says KiwiRail’s General Manager, Passenger, Deborah Hume.
“KiwiRail has previously stated that it would be happy to increase the number of stops on the Northern Explorer should there be a demonstrated demand for it. We believe the number of people wanting to catch the service from both south Auckland and north Wellington warrants this,” says Ms Hume.
“Both stops cover a large population catchment, with Paraparaumu incorporating passengers from Waikanae, Kapiti Coast and Otaki, and Papakura encompassing passengers from Middlemore and Pukekohe, and many hotels and motels around Auckland International Airport. These stations also have good parking and are well serviced by taxi and bus services.
“The additional stops also mean that intending passengers from Auckland South and Wellington North do not have to travel from their homes or hotels into the city during the morning peak period, or back again in the afternoon peak at the end of the journey. By establishing stops at Papakura and Paraparumu we open up a much bigger market opportunity for both New Zealand and international travellers, increase sales options, and offer a more attractive service,” Ms Hume says.
The Papakura and Paraparaumu stops will be introduced on October 15, in time for the summer season. It is not anticipated that adding these two stops will have any significant impact on the service’s current timetable
There are no fare changes as both stops have common rated fares with Auckland and Wellington respectively.
The Northern Explorer runs from Auckland on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and from Wellington on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, with a lay-over day on Wednesday for vehicle maintenance. The timetable operates year-round – 6 days a week every week of the year, including for the first time in many years, Christmas Day.