Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council is optimistic that Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee will choose to save the Capital Connection rail service.
A council delegation met Mr Brownlee on Tuesday night to discuss the service which carries about 13,000 people between Palmerston North and Wellington every month.
The service is losing about $500,000 per year and KiwiRail says it may cancel it.
Wellington and Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Councils are pledging to subsidise the service if the Transport Agency does the same. The agency refuses.
Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council chair Bruce Gordon says the meeting with the minister went well and he was very receptive to their business plan.