'In awe of the scenery' - South Island's TranzAlpine train journey celebrates 30th birthday today

The country's most iconic train journey, the South Island's TranzAlpine, celebrated its thirtieth birthday today.

Many of the original staff members from 1987 jumped on-board to reminisce, and celebrate the occasion.

There were definitely no iPones and iPads to capture the South Island scenery on the TranzApline's maiden trip three decades ago.

Ken Thompson was an original 1987 train manager.

"People sit in the seats with their mouth open, in awe of the scenery," Thompson said.

"Small place like New Zealand, all this scenery, snow, rivers, they just can't believe it."

The luxury service with a buffet service and liquor license was established simply to capitalise on the scenery, with the route previously used for basic transportation.

And despite set-backs like the High Country fires in February that destroyed tracks and bridges, the journey’s still being relished by more than 100,000 passengers a year.

Many of the original staff members from the first voyage jumped on board to reminisce. Source: 1 NEWS