Luxury carriages take shape at Hillside Workshops

Former commuter train carriages are being refurbished at Hillside workshops for the planned Antipodean Explorer luxury train service. Photos: Simone Jackson
Former commuter train carriages are being refurbished at Hillside workshops for the planned Antipodean Explorer luxury train service. Photos: Simone Jackson
Hillside Workshops in Dunedin is again humming with activity as carriages are readied for a planned new national train journey.

Antipodean Explorer New Zealand co-founder and general manager Amanda Johnston said work was progressing well at Hillside in South Dunedin, as carriages were readied for the service.

In December last year, Mrs Johnston announced the journey, to be pitched at wealthy tourists, would run from Auckland and travel through provincial New Zealand, including Dunedin and Invercargill.

There would be individually curated experiences for passengers at every stop.

This stripped-out carriage shown will become a sleeper carriage.
This stripped-out carriage shown will become a sleeper carriage.

While 90% of the route would covered by train, small coaches or helicopters would be used to reach other locations, including Queenstown.

In April, 16 carriages arrived on a siding near Forsyth Barr Stadium, and Mrs Johnston confirmed they would be refurbished at Hillside, which closed amid controversy in 2012.

Mrs Johnston said the photos supplied showed one carriage being stripped out to become one of the Antipodean Explorer sleeper carriages, of which there would be eight.

She was not able to comment further yesterday due to commercial negotiations.

The company has financial backing from Chinese company Fu Wah.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

 

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