New Tranz Carriage Look


KiwiRail has displayed the new ‘sleek modern- looking livery’ for the AK carriages, currently under construction at KiwiRail’s Hillside workshops in Dunedin.

The 17 car fleet will hit the rails next year, but the first carriage is ready to go into the paint booth for a refreshingly different look.

KiwiRail says initial reaction from the Christchurch staff who will be working in the new carriages on the Tranz Alpine and Tranz Coastal routes has been positive.




  1. Chris S says:

    Carriages look nice but what about the engines? Do they get new graphics?

  2. anthony says:

    looks fantastic! i can’t wait to ride on brand new carriages! it has been too long since the last time tourist carriages were bought. the AC broke down the last time i was on the tranz Alpine, and it was snowing. -_-’

  3. Rowan Crawford says:

    I can tell you that the main thing my kids look for is a name on the engine. On the carriages wouldn’t hurt, either.

  4. Paul fr Sydney says:

    Nice timing, John C

    Just yesterday I was looking for any info on the AK’s. Are they stainless steel? The latest Observer Mag had a pic of one in construction.

    My next trip home may have to be via the Midland line

    @Chris – The loco’s have a nice new livery

  5. Nick R says:

    Looks good! New carriages for intercity passenger travel, fancy that eh.

    Erm, are these under construction or under re-construction?

    Would be cool if they could get some sleek looking fibreglass cowlings for the locomotives, that would look cool (if being largely useless)

  6. Jenna says:

    I saw some of them in the yards before wellington station… real shame though they had been hit by grafitti and looked very dirty no wonder they are showing us drawings

  7. James Pole says:

    Pretty nice look! One change I would’ve made would be to have a full vertical yellow paint at both ends of the carriage to match the loco and horizontally blending out to silver/red for the main/middle part of the carriage.

  8. Matt L says:

    Jenna - I don’t think you could have seen these in Wellington, my understanding is that these are brand new being build from scratch in Dunedin specifically for the transalpine service.

  9. Chris S says:

    Thanks Jon C

  10. Geoff says:

    Although the new locos won’t be seen with the new carriages, as they’ll all be in freight service.

  11. Richard says:

    Does anybody know why only the South Island trains are getting new carriages? All three surviving passenger trains that we have are using carriages built about 70 years ago and that should have been replaced 40 years ago. The Silver Ferns I recall arrived in 1971/2 so now must be at the end of their life span

  12. Kegan says:


    The South Island services are more profitable and the Overlander carriages were overhauled more recently.

    The Silver Fern railcars will be around for a while yet - they are all being overhauled (1 has been done and is used for charters, 1 is being done now at Hutt & the third will follow).

  13. Jenna says:

    Sorry I mistook them for refrigerated freight wagons. LOL Had a blond moment! In my defense looks like Kiwirails going to use the same paint scheme and branding right across the board whether its passenger carriages or cargo waggons, but it’s all being freighted one way or another so no more Tranzscenic I guess. Anyway my 2 cednts those carriages are going to get mighty dirty and get grafittied up real fast if those freight wagons are anything to go by… plus harder to see in snowy foggy conditions. I like the old blue!

  14. Martin says:

    I agree with Jenna

    I really don’t like that mix of grey, red and yellow (a throwback to old NZR days) on the engines, would have been nice if the dark blue that NZR used in its very final days became the standard scheme.

    And like James, I think the carriages should have worked the warning yellow from the engines into their paint schemes better too.


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