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Entertainment-starved Cantabrians are taking chartered trains to Dunedin to watch concerts and sporting events at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Railtours (NZ) owner Roger Sutherland said interest in Dunedin's new stadium and associated events had been high after February's earthquake damaged much of Christchurch's entertainment infrastructure.
Christchurch's AMI Stadium was to host seven Rugby World Cup matches, but those games had been allocated to other centres, including Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium.
"The new stadium is definitely a drawcard. People are keen to have a [look] at that," he said.
Chartered trains to two Rugby World Cup matches - Argentina v England (September 10) and Ireland v Italy (October 2) - and the Elton John concert (November 25) would attract at least a couple of hundred passengers each.
All trips would return to Christchurch the same day, with prices including tickets, he said. The Tranz Scenic trains had been chartered for each of the events.
Previous trips to rugby games at Carisbrook had attracted a good mix of former Otago people and Cantabrians, including those in Ashburton, Timaru and Oamaru.
Mr Sutherland said he had taken chartered trains to Timaru after the Crusaders home games were shifted south from the severely damaged AMI Stadium.
He expected extra charters to Dunedin while Christchurch rebuilds, "particularly with the new stadium, because that is one out of the box".
He had talked to stadium management about future events and hoped the Crusaders would relocate some of their games to Dunedin.
A railway siding would be added at the stadium at a later date.