Capital Connection Under Threat?


The daily commuter service between Palmerston North and Wellington, TranzScenic’s Capital Connection is under threat.

On board Capital Connection | TranzScenic

The Manawatu Standard newspaper in Palmerston North quotes a letter Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway, has had saying an increase in Waikanae passengers using more frequent Wellington metro services could affect the Capital Connection service.

20% of the service’s passengers board at Waikanae and Paraparaumu. Waikanae will be joining Wellington’s electric train commuter services as part of the major Wellington upgrade. This happens in about 18 months.

The MP says KiwiRail says nothing will happen before then.

The paper quotes a spokesman for transport minister Steven Joyce saying “The minister understands from KiwiRail that no changes are proposed to the Capital Connection commuter train service … at this time.”

The newspaper, in an editorial, describing the minister as “hedging”on the issue, supports the local Labour MP’s concerns. The paper calls it an important transport link for the city.

But it points out local people have to support it to ensure it survives. “If there aren’t enough people in Palmerston North using it to cover the cost of running it, it will be difficult to argue with a decision to axe it.”

Hat tip: Brent C




  1. rtc says:

    And now it all starts once again, canning of services leading to deterioration of tracks leading to….

  2. Chris says:

    It sounds like a bit of a non-story until you consider the longer term implications. If I was living in Wellington, but considering moving North and commuting - this would make me think twice about relying on public transport. I think we must guarantee availability first, then watch it become popular. Motorways are no different in this respect. People gradually adapt their lifestyle to accommodate the enabling (but permanent) transport choices.

  3. Joshua says:

    Nothing new here really. Extension of electrification to Waikanae was always going to take a bit out of the Capital Connection’s patronage. Hopefully it survives though.

  4. dsadas says:

    If half of the people on the capital connection comes from Waikanae/Paraparaumu and they all went on the electrics, that still leaves more than the capacity of a silver fern railcar. Surely thats enough to justify keeping the service, and I doubt that all existing Waikanae/Paraparaumu passengers will drop the CC in favour of the electrics.

  5. Ian says:

    Good point dsadas. The Capital makes fewer stops and its timing will simply suit some people. And it is more comfortable than the Ganz and quite probably the Rotems too.

  6. Ian says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention the Capital is hauled by a DX. Would you rather hear the whine of traction motors or the snarl of a hard working GE four stroke diesel?

  7. Andrew says:

    Note that as mentioned above, a good number of its users board at already-electrified Paraparaumu, and happily pay a higher fare for this “business-class” service. They will likely continue to do so.

  8. Jim C says:

    It is certainly an excellent service. I often use it for day trips to Wellington. You have no worries about parking and battling the commuter road traffic.

  9. Paul says:

    I live in Sydney and have been using the CC to get to Palmy ever since Freedom Air stopped flying there. Its a great service!

  10. Bruno says:

    It’s a great service even just for escaping palmy for a long weekend - catch it down on a Friday and back on Monday to see family.

    Maybe if we are losing a town at one end (Waikanae) then we should add a town at the other end (Feilding)?

  11. James Pole says:

    Or leave the timetable as it is. I’m sure there will still be demand for the Capital Connection at existing stations even with the electrification.

  12. Chris Johnson says:

    Just like the Overlander, the usual rail slash and burn mentality at work, until Kiwi’s stood up and said NO! May they do it again.


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