Hope Capital Connection Will Survive


Labour’s Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway, is hopeful the Capital Connection – TranzScenic’s daily commuter service between Palmerston North and Wellington, can be saved.

But the campaign to save it is being stepped up.

The concern began after Mr Lees-Galloway had been told that a likely increase in Waikanae passengers using more frequent Wellington metro services could affect the Capital Connection service. Wellington’s beefed up electrification plans will add Waikanae to its suburban routes.

“I’ve been talking to Horizons Regional Council, the Palmerston North City Council, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, Vision Manawatu and people involved in other pro-rail campaigns around NZ. The support for our cause it immense.

“I really do feel that if we can show how strong we are and put a well-considered proposal to KiwiRail that we will see the retention - if not growth - of the service.”

So far a Facebook group has got 600 members but the MPs says it’s time to extend the campaign beyond Facebook. A number of people have approached me offering to help do this.
“I plan to get these people together within a week and discuss plans. Soon after that, there will be opportunities for everyone interested to get together to discuss how we would like things to progress. This will not just be in Palmerston North - I will try to get as many venues as practical to give everyone an opportunity to join in.”

The Palmerston North paper, the Manawatu Standard, quoted 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.”




  1. James Pole says:

    Sorry if I’ve missed the news, but has Kiwirail actually announced they will cease the service?

  2. Jon C says:

    @James Not for 18 months. Earlier story (sorry have linked it now) http://www.aktnz.co.nz/2010/01/08/capital-connection-under-threat/ Cheers

  3. Brent C says:

    I wonder if Nathan Guy will back any campaign? I expect at least Darren Hughes will (hopefully). They are meant to be representing those living in Otaki and Levin

  4. Jim C says:

    Hopefully there will be passengers still wanting to use the Capital Connection @ Waikanae and Paraparaumu. From there it doesn’t stop until Wellington. The fare will be dearer but the ride is better and of course the staff.

  5. Steve W says:

    Have any figures been given for this train? (loading, profitability etc)

  6. Alastair says:

    The operative words from the minister are ” No decision has been made AT THIS TIME” A very equivicol answer.

    While we are at it, use the old Auckland DMU’s to introduce a service from Wanganui Through Fielding to Palmerston. Nothing could be worse than those square wheeled busses!

  7. Ken Kilpin says:

    The Palmerston North paper reports that just over 185,000 journeys were completed in the year to July ’09. A Waikanae- Wellington service will have to run almost non-stop to Wellington if it is to take patrons off the Capital Connection service. What’s more, even if the ticket price is a little dearer, the added comfort of the Capital Connection compared with an essentially urban commuter train, will also count in its favour.
    I wonder if Kiwirail has other plans for the Capital Connection carriages they are not making public e.g. shifting them to the Overlander or Picton/CHCH services, and are preparing the public for such a move??


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