Unfortunately, the earthquakes in November 2016 caused extensive damage to the rail line between Blenheim and Kaikoura. As a result, the Coastal Pacific will be out of service indefinitely. The preliminary estimate is that it will return in mid-2018.
However, we are pleased to announce that KiwiRail has completed the restoration of the Main North Line (MNL) railway between Picton and Lake Grassmere.
The remaining section, between Lake Grassmere and Kaikoura is the worst affected. KiwiRail is working with the New Zealand Transport Agency on this section, as both the railway and State Highway 1 are heavily affected and run side-by-side. It is still unknown when passenger services will be able to return to the Main North Line, and so future ticket sales are completely suspended.
The carriages used on the Coastal Pacific have been redeployed to the TranzAlpine and Northern Explorer services. We hope that the increased numbers of seats available on these services will enable those passengers who wished to experience the Coastal Pacific to experience one of these alternative Scenic Journeys instead.
Scenic Rail Passes
With the Coastal Pacific not running, we have elected to suspend sales of the Scenic Rail Pass. The Scenic Rail Pass is designed for travelling around New Zealand using the connected Scenic Journeys services and without the Coastal Pacific we are unable to offer a connected journey. We are currently investigating options to reconnect our services temporarily using alternative routes.
Getting the latest news
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