Reports on other railway reinstatements, visitation figures and reputation of similar railway operations elsewhere in the country suggest that the Rimutaka Incline Railway will add considerably to the appeal of the Wellington region as a tourist destination. The railway will increase access to a subalpine wilderness area within close proximity to the nation’s capital, and present a significant opportunity for an authentic cultural heritage experience of international significance.
The railway is likely to be a significant tourist destination for both domestic and international tourists, with the potential to extend the stay of tourists in the Wellington region, with the obvious flow-on effects.
Additionally, there is considerable scope for collaboration and joint-packages with operators of other attractions in the Wellington and Upper Hutt area, all of whom would likely benefit from the additional visitation. The Trust will also pursue opportunities to collaborate with parties wishing to develop tourist facilities and businesses associated with active recreation and other commercial ventures on the Rail Trail, with a view to developing a range of complimentary attractions along the route and at the Summit, and later, Cross Creek destinations. The railway proposal incorporates a visitor centre at Summit, along with the possibility of guided bush walks, and guided walks to Cross Creek down the former Fell-worked incline.
Transport connection to the Wairarapa via the forest road to State Highway 2 near the Rimutaka Hill Road summit is another essential plank to the railway proposal so that tourists might experience one leg of the railway journey, then continue on by road to experience attractions in the Wairarapa.