The new Te Huia train service between Hamilton and Auckland finished its first journey right on time this morning.
About 90 people arrived at Papakura Train Station on the first service from Frankton, via Te Rapa and Huntly. From there, commuters transfer to Auckland public transport to complete their journey.
The train has capacity for about 150 people and will run twice each weekday morning, and back again in the late afternoon and evening.
The current timetable has services leaving Frankton at 5.46am and 6.28am with return trips from Auckland departing at 4.42pm and 6.25pm.
Most passengers on the first service said it was an enjoyable and comfortable trip, however one man said the times are all wrong, and if he had driven he would already be in the office.
A second passenger said he was very impressed with the smooth and quiet journey.
One woman caught the first train for fun, despite getting up before dawn to be on board.
She said she was going to now spend the day shopping in Auckland.
The $90 million train service is a five-year trial and includes trips on selected Saturdays, which will be free for SuperGold cardholders.
It is estimated the trains will remove up to 73,000 return car trips between the two cities annually.
- with Newstalk ZB