The Future Is Rail is a community-led initiative to connect regional communities by rail.

How do we work?


We are a repository for information, knowledge, and insight. We are proud to work with a brilliant group of writers, researchers, and thought leaders who provide essential information on the future of rail and its ability to transform communities and protect the environment.

Rail is constantly under threat due to a mishmash of legislation, policy, and funding alongside substandard research and poor coordination. We are here to help #SaveOurTrains when services are threatened

We are a citizen-led campaign grounded in communities across Aotearoa. We started as an informal group campaigning for the return of the Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific trains in 2022. We were successful in in that fight, but the campaign unlocked enthusiasm for reconnecting NZ by rail, especially in towns, cities, and regions neglected by policy makers.

We have since become a bit more organised. A Coordinating Committee of ten people steer the campaign and help provide support to local groups in Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Canterbury, and Otago.

We are focused on three key areas:

  • Campaigning to preserve what we have

  • Producing insight

  • Envisioning for a better future


We are advocates for the future. Rail can help usher in an era where people have more access to economic opportunities, connection to each other, and agency to impact climate change. We coordinate conferences, competitions, and information on the future of rail.

“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”

– John Lennon