KiwiRail is suspending its TranzCoastal service until August because of poor passenger numbers.
The service, which runs between Picton and Christchurch, was replaced by a bus service after February's earthquake caused a significant drop in bookings.
KiwiRail says it can no longer operate the service through the low season.
However, it says by committing to a restart date it hopes to provide certainty and take advantage of increased numbers in the summer season and the Rugby World Cup.
It says it will continue to operate its TranzAlpine service, despite bookings running at almost half of what they were for the same time last year.
KiwiRail predicts its end of year financial result will be about $15 million below target.