TranzAlpine train service resumes after five-month hiatus

There are fears the TranzAlpine train may not resume service for the start of summer. PHOTO:...
The TranzAlpine service is resuming today. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
TranzAlpine train journeys between Christchurch and Greymouth have resumed after a hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The train service stopped running in August 2021 when the country went into alert level 4 lockdown, but it will now be able to operate under the 'orange' and 'green' settings of the new Covid-19 Protection Framework.

KiwiRail's other services - the Coastal Pacific and the Northern Explorer - remain suspended.

KiwiRail spokesperson Tracey Goodall said the TranzAlpine had the best chance of succeeding because it attracted more domestic tourists.

"Our two other services have been suspended indefinitely as they were no longer viable with borders closed.

"We're working on options that we believe will be more appealing and we'll make announcements about those in due course."

The TranzAlpine service will depart Christchurch at 8.15am every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, going on a five-hour journey through the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps foothills, before arriving in Greymouth.

For those taking the return journey, the train will leave Greymouth at 2pm.

KiwiRail is offering $20 child fares from 14 January to 7 February using the promotional code KIDS20.

Bookings can be made up until 2 May 2022, with the winter season timetable due to be announced soon.

KiwiRail said it would provide a full refund in the event that the service was cancelled due to Covid-19.

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