Total revenue for the year was $NZ 503 million, with freight ($NZ
284 million) and passenger services ($NZ 108 million) the biggest
revenue sources. Freight traffic declined 13% from 4.56 billion net
tonne-km in 2007-08 to 3.97 billion tonne-km in 2008-09 with the fall
being blamed on the recession.
Despite the overall drop in
freight, the company recorded record high volumes of bulk milk
shipments with 729 million litres of milk railed across the North
Island between Hawkes Bay and Taranaki.
long-distance passenger train services fared better, with a rise in
passenger numbers. The four services - The Overlander, Tranz Coastal,
Tranz Alpine and Capital Connection carried a total of 492,000
passengers, compared with 487,000 in 2007-08. The commuter-orientated
Capital Connection linking Palmerston North and Wellington in the North
Island was the most popular service carrying 185,000 passengers,
eclipsing the tourist-focused Tranz Alpine linking Christchurch and
Greymouth in the South Island - traditionally the most popular
passenger train in the country. This suffered a patronage slump from
200,000 to 181,000 due to a fall in tourist numbers.