Dunedin City Council has committed in principle to retaining the iconic Taieri Gorge train service as a key part of the city’s visitor economy.
The decision by Councillors this week means the focus now shifts to considering the best options to secure and enhance the Taieri Gorge experience, DCC Chief Executive, Sandy Graham says.
“This will include potential new operating models for both the service and its maintenance requirements, as well as options to enhance the journey through the gorge itself,” Ms Graham says.
“The Taieri Gorge remains one of the world’s great train journeys and this is an important step towards securing its future.”
Strath-Taieri Community Board Chair Barry Williams says the DCC’s commitment was “brilliant news”.
“I think we’re looking at the future. This is for future generations.”
Dunedin Railways was placed in hibernation in 2020 in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19, and has since operated a reduced service under Dunedin City Holdings Limited (DCHL), including through the Taieri Gorge, while the DCC considered future options.
Future options will now be considered in more detail, and staff will provide further updates to Council in time for the DCC’s 10 year plan 2024-34.
Train operations will continue in their current form in the meantime.