Launch date for Auckland to Hamilton train service Te Huia confirmed

The trains will be able to carry 150 passengers.
The trains will be able to carry 150 passengers. Photo credit: Newshub

Passenger trains between Auckland and Hamilton will start running on April 6, the Waikato Regional Council has announced.

Te Huia - budgeted to cost $92 million - will see two return trips from Frankton to Papakura.

From Monday to Friday, the rail service will depart Frankton at 5:46am and 6:28am, stopping at Rotokauri and Huntly. 

The return service will depart from Papakura at 4:42pm and 6:25pm. 

Bee Card fares are $12.20 from Hamilton and $7.80 from Huntly.

The rail service was scheduled to begin on November 2, but was delayed for urgent track work carried out by KiwiRail.

Transport Minister Michael Wood says it's a good step towards reducing congestion.

"Investing in rail is part of our Government's plan to help reduce congestion and emissions," he says.

"Te Huia starting up is another good step towards taking pressure off the Southern Motorway."

Waikato regional councillor and chair of the regional transport committee Hugh Vercoe says confirming this date gives people the certainty to start planning their travels from April.

"This service will transform public transport and the way people in the Waikato travel between here and Auckland," he says.

"There's a real opportunity for us to expand the service into the future, opening it up to even more Waikato communities."

Tables, power and USB points will allow for productive working spaces.
Tables, power and USB points will allow for productive working spaces. Photo credit: Newshub

Each of the two trains will have four carriages with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, heating, a cafe bar, and will be able to carry 150 passengers.

There is a toilet within each carriage, as well as tables, power and USB points to allow for productive working spaces.

KiwiRail Group CEO Greg Miller says he looks forward to seeing the service running.

"Plenty of work has gone behind the scenes by KiwiRail too, including training our new onboard crew who will be responsible for hosting passengers travelling on Te Huia," he says.

"They have been preparing for this day and are raring to go."

Te Huia will run a public open day on March 27 and 28, giving people the chance to walk through and check out the facilities.