Train trips to get rolling from today

One train trip had to be cancelled, but summer services are due to start in Dunedin today.

Dunedin Railways’ trips are going ahead under the Orange setting of the Government’s Covid-19 traffic light system, starting with the Twilight Train to Seacliff this evening.

A vaccine pass will be required to board the train, but children aged under 12 will be exempt, as they do not yet have approval to receive the vaccine.

Use of face masks will be encouraged.

The train’s crew will be fully vaccinated.

"Uncertainty around Covid-19 will be challenging for us," Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) chief executive Terry Davies said yesterday.

If the health system is battling to cope with the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 and the region shifts from the orange setting to red, Dunedin train trips will be off.

"Orange is good. Green is great. Red is not great," Mr Davies said.

A Twilight Train trip scheduled for December 17 had been cancelled because of planned strikes by KiwiRail staff.

About 50 passengers were affected by the cancellation and DVML had sought to reallocate many of them to other trips, Mr Davies said.

DVML ran a trial of limited services to Hindon and Waitati last summer.

The trial was designed to test the domestic market after the international market collapsed, because of Covid-19.

Planned services this summer include the Moeraki Victorian journey up the North Otago coast to Hampden, one to Oamaru, the Seasider trip to Waitati and the Inlander trip to Hindon.

The Seasider and Inlander services ran last summer.

DVML asked passengers to allow more time for the boarding process than usual, as crew got used to operating under government requirements.

grant.miller@odt.co.nz

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