A secret train

Thursday, December 13, The Globe Theatre, Palmerston North. 7.30 doors, music at 8pm.

Travel possible from Kapiti Coast or Wellington (overnight trip), or scenic loop ex Palmerston North

Tickets here

This Rail land show celebrates the only inter-city commuter train to operate in present day New Zealand, and is open to all who live locally. Of course, you don’t need to to catch a train to get there.

But for the truly committed, you can do just this, and what a train and a mystery it is!

To take the train if based in Palmerston North

To do this: take the Palmerston North - Levin commuter bus service. It leaves Main Street Palmerston North at 5:25. It costs $9 cash for the full trip (cheaper for less sections) and less with a Go Card. Full details here:

It arrives in Levin at at 6:15, giving you enough time to walk to Levin Station to catch the Capital Connection at 6:42pm (it’s a 14 minute walk from the bus stop to the station). From the station, it’s a $9 trip to Palmerston North, and EFTPOS is available on board.

Itinerary ex Kapiti Coast or Wellington

To take the train both ways from Wellington or The Kapiti Coast, this will be an overnight trip, requiring accommodation in the great city of Palmerston North. It is possible to do this trip without taking a day off work.

To get to Palmerston North, take the one evening service from Wellington or any of the Kapiti Coast stops below. Be early as some of these times are only approximate.

Wellington Station 5:15PM, Paraparaumu 6:03, Waikanae 6:10, Otaki 6:22, Levin 6:42, Shannon 6:57, Arrives Palmerston North 7:20.

You can pay on board (including by EFTPOS).

Town and The Globe are a decent walk from the station. We’ll be looking for local volunteers to do pickups if possible, and there are of course (rather infrequent) buses, and taxis.

Doors to the show open at 7:30pm, and the show will start at 8:00pm.

To return home, please note that the train leaves Palmerston North Station on Friday morning at 6:15am. You'll arrive before the workday begins, just like a true Capital Connection commuter.

Full price fares from Wellington Station are $35 each way, though you could save by taking Metlink on a ten trip ticket to Waikanae first ($19 from there each way). Ten trip fares are available for the Capital Connection too.

About the Capital Connection

To find out if the Capital Connection is on time, you must call (yes, call) an 0800 number and press 7. This gives you some idea of just how mysterious New Zealand’s only intercity commuter train is.

Taking in the best views of Wellington’s Kapiti Line, and shooting past coastal towns, productive plains, and derelict industry, this train is a window to our past, and perhaps to our future as well. While most rail journeys in New Zealand are slow, this train travels between Palmerston North and Wellington in only 2 hours, five minutes, fast enough to beat cars at peak times. It is a working class institution, with high demand for a seat near the bar.

More information on the Capital Connection in the back corner of a website here, And a review of the trip from this rider here.

And that number, so you know, is 0800 ARRIVAL.