Save our passenger rail network

Published on 21/01/2022 at 4:42 pm.

State owned enterprise, KiwiRail, has announced the permanent end of same-day intercity services  between Auckland and Wellington and Picton and Christchurch. It will be replaced by a multi-day rail cruise.

This effectively means the end of most of Aotearoa New Zealand's national passenger rail network after more than 100 years of service.  

This announcement comes at a time when the Government has said it is committed to climate action and reducing inequality. 

Passenger trains connect communities, friends and families for graduations, weddings, holidays and business for generations. They have connected towns with the cities, and bought our country together. 

But a period of privatisation and decades of underfunding has limited the development and use of our national rail network. 

Trains have an important place in our future but it requires investment and planning from Government as they -

  • Rail provides a more sustainable and climate considerate method of transport across the country.
  • Rail can invigorate the social and economic life of small communities by making them accessible to remote workers and tourists.¬†
  • Trains can bring our diverse country together by connecting people and landscapes across wide distances.¬†
  • Trains provide an accessible method of point-to-point transport for the elderly and disabled.

Save our Trains are not opposed to rail tours. They are far better for the economy and environment than flying to Hawaii, however, they are not an appropriate replacement for a national passenger rail network. It should not be one or the other. 

Rail is an important part of our past, but it should also be part of our future. Join the campaign to support the retention and growth of a national passenger rail network.

If you are interested or keen to save our national rail network and build a better one, please sign Save our Trains petition.

For information concerning Save our Trains, visit

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