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In the days before containerisation , rail freight between the islands had to be railed in a wagon to Wellington, unloaded and transferred onto a ship to Picton or Lyttelton , then loaded into another wagon before being railed the rest of the way. The service dramatically increased efficiency, since freight could stay in the same wagon the whole journey, reducing time and money.
Aramoana took just 3 hours 20 minutes to cross Cook Strait, dramatically decreasing the time between the two islands for cars and passengers - Wellington to Christchurch travel time was reduced from 11 hours on the USSC ferry to 9 hours by NZR ferry and road. The initial service was one sailing each way per day, Wellington to Picton in the morning and Picton to Wellington in the afternoon.
However, the resurgence was short-lived: on 10 April , Wahine foundered at the entrance to Wellington Harbour during a storm, resulting in 53 deaths. The Union Company withdrew in , and after two years under the Ministry of Transport, the service was cancelled in September The faster Arahura reduced the time across Cook Strait by 20 minutes to three hours.
This changed in when the Minister of Railways, Peter Gordon , announced that NZR would be forming its own maritime service to operate the inter-island ferries. In , it was renamed the Interisland Line, and the service became known as The Interislander. The fleet was upgraded with improved facilities and a new livery including Pelorus Jack. Both ships were repainted in a new livery, with a fern replacing Pelorus Jack on the funnel - he moved to the hull with the logo. Kaitaki was the first Interislander ferry without a rail deck, and the first with a bow door all the other ferries were stern boarding.
In Aratere was significantly lengthened by adding a metre midsection to increase her capacity. In November , Interislander staff threatened strike action over the upcoming Christmas period, demanding better wages.
In December , it was announced Stena Alegra would be chartered long-term to replace the ageing Arahura. Arahura last sailed on 29 July , and the Stena Alegra, refurbished and renamed Kaiarahi , entered service in September In , speed restrictions were imposed in Wellington harbour to reduce wash and protect ships berthed at Aotea Quay, and in May an knot speed limit was imposed on all ships in the Marlborough Sounds after residents complained of shoreline damage caused by the ferries.
By , The Lynx took 2 hours 15 minutes to complete its journey. Both Arahura pictured and now retired and Aratere are capable of loading and unloading road and rail vehicles simultaneously using a double linkspan. The Interislander operates three roll-on roll-off ferries: Aratere, Kaiarahi and Kaitaki. Aratere is a rail ferry, carrying rail wagons on the lower vehicle deck and road vehicles on the upper vehicle deck.
Kaitaki and Kaiarahi do not have rail capacity, and carry road vehicles across two decks.
Kaiarahi Kaitaki Kaitaki can carry 1, passengers and is the largest ferry operating in New Zealand waters. Read more Aratere Aratere is our longest serving vessel. With eight separate viewing areas, including a large roof top seating area and a viewing deck on the bow, Aratere was built to show off the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. Read more Kaiarahi Kaiarahi is the newest member of our ferry fleet.
Virg The catering facilities were extensively improved, as were the general passenger amenities. Retrieved interislandr January It is important that we know you are carrying horses as these cannot be safely carried in swells in excess of 3m. One regular traveller recalled: The initial service was one sailing each way per day, Wellington to Picton in the morning and Picton to Wellington in the afternoon. Travel with KiwiRail Today, the service is still well patronised despite competition on the Wellington—Picton sea onterislander with Bluebridge and from airlines, carrying around one million passengers andvehicles per year on 5, sailings. Another mystery surrounding the dolphin is its sex. By the end of the s the conventional cargo services on the New Zealand coast were disappearing and the trade was increasingly being handled by ro-ro ships.
Moogukus In Aratere was significantly lengthened by adding a metre midsection to increase her capacity. The service was an immediate success, although it was criticised for high prices. In Decemberit was announced Stena Alegra would be chartered long-term to replace the logl Arahura. The Union Company withdrew inand after two years under the Ministry of Transport, the service was cancelled in September New Zealand railways were privatised inbeing purchased by Wisconsin. This page was last edited on 23 Decemberat Loggo Includes flat deck, extended cab and double cab utility vehicles. The Lynx was cancelled in due to large losses. The service dramatically increased efficiency, since freight could stay in the same wagon the whole journey, reducing time and money.