Capital Connection

Our Capital Connection long-distance commuter train runs once daily, Monday to Friday, from Palmerston North to Wellington in the morning and returning in the evening.

Capital Connection on a winter morning in Wellington J Chaung


Capital Connection will return with Alert Level 2 seating restrictions from Thursday 14 May 2020. Due to Physical Distancing requirements, travel can not be guaranteed - please read the details below before travelling.

Limited Service During COVID-19 Alert Level 2

With the move to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 on Thursday, 14 May 2020, our Capital Connection service will begin carrying commuters once again.

Although the standard timetable will be operating, the Capital Connection's passenger capacity will be managed to allow for Physical Distancing requirements.

Once all seats are filled, we are unable to carry any more passengers - so please be prepared to make alternative travel arrangements.

This restriction is result of government regulation designed to keep New Zealand safe from COVID-19. We also want to ensure that all passengers and crew feel safe while travelling aboard our trains. We ask for patience with our crew should you be unable to board.


Important changes that affect your travel 

  • Contact Tracing forms should be completed
    • Register now using our online form now if you know you will be travelling 
    • We will also provide forms on board but ask that you please bring your own pen! 
  • Try to keep 2m distance while waiting for services
    While on board,
  • Follow signage about where you can sit, please avoid sitting next to someone you don’t know - as this will aid with contact tracing if required
  • Follow the guidance of the on-board crew.
  • We will be designating specific seats as available for customer use (see our Carriage Seating Plan)
  • Keep movement to a minimum while on board (do not use toilets in another carriage)
  •  Try to sit with people you know
  • Those travelling with colleagues, friends or family, may sit together using both blue and yellow seating
  • Cafe services will be closed
  • Customers will not be required to purchase a ticket
  • No standing passengers
    • When all seats are filled, no further passengers will be allowed to board

Please register online before using the Capital Connection during Alert Level 2.

Revised Carriage Seating Plan

During COVID-19 Alert Level 2, we will be limiting seating to allow for Physical Distancing requirements.

  • If you are travelling with people you know, then feel free to sit together using both blue and yellow seating (this will allow more passengers to travel).
  • When travelling alone, please sit in the designated yellow seating.


Keeping clean, keeping safe

We all still have a huge role to play in keeping New Zealand safe from the spread of COVID-19. Cases are declining, which is positive news, and we want it to continue that way.

For our part, we will be cleaning the Capital Connection service regularly and thoroughly prior to every journey using approved cleaning and sanitising agents.

During these times of high alert, we ask that all passengers respect current hygiene advice by keeping their hands clean and by coughing and sneezing into the pit of their elbow. 

However, most importantly, we ask that you stay home if you are feeling unwell. For the safety of your fellow passengers and crew, we will be looking for signs of illness and will not carry anyone who may be infected.


Protecting Against Regional Spread of COVID-19

The Capital Connection is an inter-regional service and we have a duty to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 along its route. 

For this reason, the following people are not allowed to travel:

  • Anyone arriving from overseas in the past 14 days
  • Anyone who is a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case
  • Anyone who has been in contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19 case 
  • Anyone suffering any flu-like symptoms, including (but not limited to) fever, cough, sneezing and feeling tired



Staying up to date!

For latest arrival and departure times:
  • Call 0800 ARRIVAL (0800 277 482) and select option 7
For general enquiries email:
Text alert service:


Capital Connection timetable

Palmerston North to Wellington Dep/Arr Wellington to Palmerston North  Dep/Arr
Palmerston North  6.15am Wellington 5.15pm
Shannon 6.38am Paraparaumu 6.03pm
Levin 6.53am Waikanae 6.10pm
Otaki 7.13am Otaki 6.22pm
Waikanae 7.25am Levin 6.42pm
Paraparaumu 7.32am Shannon 6.57pm
Wellington 8.20am Palmerston North 7.20pm

Please note: The Capital Connection does not operate on Public Holidays or over the Christmas & New Year holiday period between the dates of 21 December 2019 through to 12 January 2020.


Capital Connection Fares

The cheapest way to travel on the Capital Connection is by purchasing a monthly travel pass or ten trip pass.

For current fares please view the fare guide.

Tickets can be purchased from:

  • Wellington Railway Station - Bunny Street (View Map)
  • Waikanae Station - Main Road (View Map)
  • Paraparaumu Station, Amohia Street (View Map)
  • Palmerston North i-SITE - The Square, Palmerston North (View Map

Alternatively you can purchase your ticket on board.


Please note:
  • Metlink tickets and school passes are not accepted on the Capital Connection
  • Seats are not guaranteed
  • Fares are subject to change without notice


Concession Fares

Discounted concession fares are available for:

  • Children aged 5–15 years inclusive
  • Full-time Secondary students in uniform or with a current school ID
  • Full-time studying Tertiary students with a current Tertiary ID
  • SuperGold card holders

Appropriate ID must be carried if you intend to travel on concession fares.


Groups & Schools

Discounted group prices are available for groups over 10 people, with quotes available on request.

To make a booking on the Capital, simply contact the Group Travel Coordinator 10 days prior to travel. Group bookings are subject to availability.

Group Booking Contact:


Other Information


Bicycles can be conveyed on the Capital Connection in the baggage van subject to space availability. Please make yourself known to the Train Manager as they will place your bicycle onboard.


Conventional and motorised wheelchairs can be conveyed on the Capital Connection subject to space availability. Mobility scooters are unable to be conveyed due to the weight and space constraints.


  • Baggage allowance is two items per person, maximum weight 20kg per item.
  • Size must be no more than 200 linear cm (height plus length plus width)
  • Hand baggage may be taken on board, with larger items stored in the baggage van.