21 Mar 2011

TransCoastal rail service being reviewed weekly

12:04 pm on 21 March 2011

KiwiRail is reviewing the future of the Picton to Christchurch passenger train service week by week.

The TransCoastal service has already been replaced with buses because of poor demand following the 22 February Christchurch earthquake.

Trains on both the TranzAlpine to Greymouth and the TransCoastal to Picton were suspended after the quake and only the Greymouth service was restarted.

Community leaders along the line say they have heard nothing about the TransCoastal's future, but say it would be a disaster if the service was ended.

A tourism consultant at the Kaikoura Information Centre said there are some rumours the service won't last but they have heard nothing official.

KiwiRail says small numbers only are using the service and it is reviewing it week by week.

However it says it is monitoring general travel demand before deciding when to reinstate the train.