One of the world’s great scenic train trips has just become even better, following the introduction of KiwiRail’s brand new scenic carriages to the iconic TranzAlpine journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. “We’re really excited to introduce a new, international standard train for our most popular Scenic service. The TranzAlpine is regarded as one of the world’s great train journeys and we are very pleased to introduce world-class carriages that put us on par with other famous international train trips,” says KiwiRail’s General Manager Passenger Deborah Hume.
Already running on the Northern Explorer between Auckland and Wellington and the Coastal Pacific between Christchurch and Picton, the new purpose-built carriages feature an advanced air bag suspension system for quieter and smoother travel, at-seat GPS triggered journey commentary, information displays and overhead HD video, as well as automatic sliding glass doors, and panoramic side and roof windows to capture the dramatic coastal and mountain views. A new café car and brand new menu has also been introduced.
The TranzAlpine train is also celebrating 25 years of operation. Ms Hume and KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn were at Addington Station to mark the anniversary and farewell passengers travelling on the new carriages for the first time. They were joined by Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism Chief Executive Tim Hunter, as well as John Bennett, who was responsible for the TranzAlpine’s inception.
Members of the public had a chance to view the new train at Addington Station before it went into service.
“These new carriages have already proved themselves on the Coastal Pacific and Northern Explorer routes and feedback from customers, tourism operators and travel writers has been uniformly positive.
“Twenty five years on and the TranzAlpine train is leaps and bounds ahead of where we started. The breathtaking scenery is still there, but the new train and accompanying tourism packages will bring the experience well and truly onto the international stage,” Ms Hume says.