Open-Air Viewing Carriages Return to KiwiRail

KiwiRail
The Northern Explorer prepares to leave Auckland, New Zealand, in December 2018. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Passengers on KiwiRail’s Great Journeys of New Zealand tourism services can once again be able to enjoy the open-air viewing carriages.

Modifications have now been completed to ensure the safety of passengers taking photos from the viewing carriages, KiwiRail’s Head of Tourism and Marketing Ahleen Rayner said in a news release.

“The redesigned handrails provide better protection for our passengers by preventing them from extending themselves or their photography equipment outside the carriage, without interrupting their view or outdoor experience,” Rayner said. “The handrails also mean improved support for those who want to steady themselves to take great shots of the spectacular New Zealand scenery our trains travel through.”

Great Journeys of New Zealand accounced it temporarily closed the outdoor viewing carriages on its trains following an increased number of potential safety incidents.

KiwiRail made the modifications after a review identified an increasing number of passengers leaning out of the viewing carriages to take photographs. The new design is installed on all viewing carriages used for the TranzAlpine and Northern Explorer.

The company runs three trains. The Northern Explorer runs between Auckland and Wellington; the Coastal Pacific runs daily throughout the summer from Christchurch to Picton; and the TranzAlpine runs between Christchurch and Greymouth.

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