Stuff.co.nz reports that patronage is increasing for long-distance train services.
Travellers are taking to the tracks, with a boost in patronage for long-distance trains – including the nearly derailed Overlander.
KiwiRail’s three long-distance services have shown an 11 per cent increase in passenger numbers – or 34,000 more travellers – in the past year.
And, after narrowly avoiding the axe four years ago, the Overlander train service had the highest growth, with a 24 per cent increase.
Figures from KiwiRail show there were 340,000 passenger journeys on the TranzAlpine, TranzCoastal and Overlander in the past financial year, up from 306,000. Of those the TranzAlpine – from Christchurch to Greymouth – was the most popular, with 193,000.
KiwiRail passenger general manager Deborah Hume said the passengers included tourists and local travellers, and showed that people were increasingly seeing rail as a travel option.
“We have worked hard in a challenging international market and it is pleasing to see that rail travel is increasingly popular with a wide variety of people.”
This is a great result for Debbie Hume and the team at KiwiRail. It seems obvious that a Hamilton to Auckland rail service would do extremely well.