Railways are getting back to basics after a decade of “railroad tourism” with a fleet of new and upgraded train cars on the way.
The New Zealand Railways is introducing its first passenger train in the next decade.
It will travel on a two-carriage, three-car train, with two passengers on board at all times, with the rest of the passengers on the ground.
New Zealand’s first passenger-carrying rail cars are shown at the National Railway Museum in Wellington on Thursday.
“The rail industry is experiencing unprecedented growth,” the RailCorp boss, Peter O’Donnell, said.
He said the new train cars will be used by New Zealanders and would be able to carry up to 6,000 people.
RailCorp’s president said it was an exciting time for the rail industry.
Its been a difficult year for rail in New Zealand but we are all going to be looking forward to another exciting time, he said.
RailCorp CEO Peter Ollerton said it had been an important year for the railway industry, with more than 300 people losing their jobs in the past 12 months.
They are all being offered jobs at rail stations, the company said.
“They will be able use the new trains for many more years to come.”
New trains will be introduced to service the major rail routes in the country, including the M1, M4 and M3, and to the regional and suburban routes.
Passenger trains can carry up.5,000 passengers in total.
Mr Ollertons new cars will not be used for long-haul passenger services.
More than 100 of the new passenger trains will arrive in Auckland on November 18 and the rest in Dunedin on December 15.
Customers will be allowed to board the train at train stations, while the rest will travel at stations along the line.
Auckland Mayor Lianne Dalziel said she had been “surprised” at the new fleet.
I was very excited when I heard about the arrival of these new trains and I am so proud of the KiwiRail team and the way they are making this transition into service,” she said.