Kiwi Rail have closed their scenic open-air carriages because of the behaviour of some of their passengers.

The open air carriages on Kiwi Rail's Great Journeys routes are some of the most popular ways to see New Zealand's wild spaces. However the company has said it has been forced remove their open viewing carriages after several "near misses".

The scenic carriages at the front of the train have large, open windows with nothing separating passengers from some of New Zealand's most epic vistas. However, the temptation to get even closer is too much for some.

The panoramic open carriages of the TranzAlpine crosses New Zealand's Southern Alps at a leisurely pace. Your eyes will wish it went slower.

The company has reported passengers leaning out of carriages for photos, putting their lives at risk.

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Scenic rail insisted that there was nothing quite as dramatic as the deadly stunts recently captured by tourists on carriages in Sri Lanka, but it was taking the incidents seriously.

Last week Instagram travel couple @backpackdiariez were criticised for a "dangerous" and "life-threatening" photo depicting them leaning out of an open train to kiss.

While nothing as brazen has happened on the New Zealand carriages, passengers have been seen leaning out the windows with 'selfie sticks and iPads' putting themselves and others at risk.

Lots of tunnels: The open scenic carriages have seen 'near misses'. Photo / Supplied
Lots of tunnels: The open scenic carriages have seen 'near misses'. Photo / Supplied

"We are a hilly country that requires a lot of tunnels," explained Katie McMahon, KiwiRail's Director of Zero Harm.

"We know some of our passengers will be disappointed that they will not be able to use these outdoor carriages while a solution is found. We offer our heartfelt apologies, but cannot risk a safety incident like this at any time."

The open carriages have been closed since March while the company comes up with a safer solution.

The 'idiot' kiss: Belgian travellers were criticised for this train picture in Sri Lanka. Photo / Instagram
The 'idiot' kiss: Belgian travellers were criticised for this train picture in Sri Lanka. Photo / Instagram

Fortunately for rail enthusiasts, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

KiwiRail is currently working on a way to return the popular open-air carriages back to the tracks in a safer form.

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There is no timeframe for this as yet, and it is uncertain if the carriages will be present when the Coastal Pacific reopens for the summer season in September.

Open vistas: Kiwirail's TranzAlpine service transports passengers from Christchurch to Greymouth. Photo / Supplied
Open vistas: Kiwirail's TranzAlpine service transports passengers from Christchurch to Greymouth. Photo / Supplied

KiwiRail runs four scenic routes across New Zealand:

The Northern Explorer which links Auckland with Wellington; the Interislander ferry across the Cook Straight; the Coastal Pacific which links Picton to Christchurch; before cruising on the Tranzalpine service to Greymouth on the West coast.

At the beginning of the year KiwiRail declared its Coastal Pacific route back in service, two years after being taken out of commission in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

The reopening of the track now allows passengers to take the 40-something hour journey from Auckland to Greymouth by rail. The entire route was captured in Prime's "slow television" series GO SOUTH.

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