Probably taken for publicity, this is a colorized version of a black and white photo. The train was introduced in 1960 as a replacement for the Daylight Limited.
According to Wikipedia: “The Scenic Daylight typically consisted of DA class diesel-electric locomotives and NZR 56-foot carriages that had been built around World War II. As dining cars had been removed from New Zealand’s railways as an economy measure during World War I and not re-introduced until the launch of the Southerner in 1971, the train made refreshment stops in Frankton and Taumarunui. It also stopped for refreshments at Paekakariki, Palmerston North, and Taihape. Due to the power of the DA locomotives, the service operated to a faster timetable than the Daylight Limited.”
Some 60 years later, this section of line is still single track, non-electrified. Unless there is a change of government next month, it seems destined to stay that way.