Sailing across the Cook Strait on the Kaitaki, then a rail journey from Picton to Christchurch on the CoastalPacific is fabulous. Now it’s going to be even better!
KiwiRail’s new scenic carriages are now on the Coastal Pacific train between Christchurch and Picton: the carriages have 52 square metres of panoramic side and roof windows. They also have ceiling mounted HD screens, GPS triggered commentary in a choice of five languages, and new café cars. They’re also the first carriages to be entirely designed and built in New Zealand since the 1940s.
I’m happy to hear KiwiRail’s new scenic carriages have just entered service on the Coastal Pacific journey between Christchurch and Picton – and I hope to use them soon as the Coastal Pacific is a wonderful journey – maybe in April so I can travel from Picton to Kaikoura attend the annual Farewell to the Hutton’s shearwater as they head for Australia.
The new purpose-built (NZ built) scenic carriages have 52 square metres of glass in panoramic side and roof windows, ceiling mounted HD screens, and GPS triggered commentary in a choice of five languages.
Dr Hume (KiwiRail’s General Manager Passenger Services) said she was very excited to be introducing the new carriages along with a new menu and new staff uniforms.
“We want to ensure a totally unique experience for our passengers. Our focus with these new carriages is on providing a more modern, sophisticated customer experience that people will remember and return to” she said. “.
Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism has applauded the initiative as a milestone for South Island tourism. “It’s a great news story for tourism in our region. The stunning scenery along our coastline is a huge draw card for visitors and the new stylish carriages and service will ensure the Coastal Pacific’s reputation as one the world’s great train journeys,” said Ms Blanchfield (Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism’s Business Development Manager)
The two new passenger carriages, the café car, the viewing car and refurbished luggage will be in service on the Coastal Pacific for the coming months, before being also introduced to the TranzAlpine next year.
“Our passenger services are heading into their busiest season and these changes add up to a fantastic showcase for KiwiRail’s South Island passenger services,” says Dr Hume