COASTAL PACIFIC UPDATE
Work is continuing at pace on the reinstatement of the Main North Line following November’s Kaikoura earthquake. Parts of the line are open for freight goods and crews are working fast in both directions but higher safety standards and ongoing seismic events mean that passenger services will be delayed longer than freight. Because of this, it is unlikely that the Coastal Pacific will operate this summer season (September 2017-April 2018).
The Coastal Pacific will be back to service as early as possible for the 2018/2019 season and it is hoped the season will be extended if possible. This could mean an earlier start date than September 2018. We will continue to keep you updated as a return to service date becomes clearer. In the meantime we can book coach transportation for you between Picton and Christchurch.
Journey operates in reverse from Middlemarch to Dunedin.
Departing from Dunedin’s beautiful railway station the Taieri Gorge Railway begins its scenic journey into some of New Zealand’s most ever-changing, spectacular and iconic scenery. The train travels through the Southern parts of Dunedin city until it arrives at Wingatui Junction where it turns off onto the Taieri branch. From here the train sneaks across the Taieri Plains and climbs into the Taieri Gorge, a narrow and deep gorge carved out over aeons by the ancient Taieri River.
The train negotiates the gorge with ease as it travels through ten tunnels and over countless bridges and viaducts.
The natural wonders combined with the challenge of man made engineering will leave you amazed, but somehow the railway blends into the natural environment perfectly. It is a wonderful example of the sheer determination of early railway pioneers.
The train will stop or slow down at various scenic points along the way for photos where you can disembark and stretch your legs and enjoy the best of beauty, peace and quiet that nature has to offer. Stand on the open air platforms while the train moves or enjoy a quiet drink and food from our on board cafe while our train manager tells the story of the nature and history of the area in an entertaining and informative live commentary.
Twice a week in Summer (October to April) and once a week in Winter (May to September) the train extends its journey to the very end of the railway line to Middlemarch, a lovely example of a country railway town and the beginning of the Otago Central Rail Trail.