Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Wellington's track network needs upgrading

Wellington's track network needs upgrading says Greater Wellington

"The Government's new track management company, TrackCo, must remember the needs of Wellington's urban passenger rail network when it decides what track to upgrade", said the Chairperson of the Greater Wellington Regional Council Margaret Shields.

"It's only 18 months since heat-buckling on Wellington tracks caused chaos for tens of thousands of commuters. Now big businesses such as Solid Energy are working hard to grab the lion's share of money for upgrading the nation's tracks on routes like the South Island Midland Line. While the needs of big business are important, the needs of Wellington commuters are urgent and critical."

Ms Shields said that upgrading the track was essential to improve passenger services to areas such as the Kapiti Coast.

"Passenger rail can help reduce congestion on the coastal route, and give us breathing space while we improve the overall transport network. But we can only run more trains if the track network is improved."

"The Wellington passenger rail system is the largest in New Zealand, and a vital part of the region's economic infrastructure. Because of under-investment the local track network has deteriorated, like it has in the rest of New Zealand, and it now needs fixing. Congested rail lines, hundred year-old tunnels and choke-points in the rail yards are just some of the track issues that need work in the Wellington region." Ms Shields said upgrading the Wellington track network is equally essential for passenger traffic and rail freight.

"Passenger trains and rail freight don't work well together. Until there is more track capacity it is difficult to run more trains, including freight, on the same lines. Other problems include hundred year-old tunnels that are too small for modern passenger trains, the single track on important sections of the line to the Kapiti Coast, and choke-points in the rail yards. For example, there are nine platforms at Wellington railway station, but only three lines in and out."

"The government is already investing heavily in the Auckland passenger rail system - which carries only a fraction of the passengers that the Wellington system does. The Government and TrackCo must remember that investing in the Wellington track network is just as much a national priority as upgrading

Auckland, or the freight network," said Ms Shields. Priority areas for track upgrades in Wellington's passenger rail network

* Electrification of the main-trunk from Paraparaumu to Waikanae. Allows increased number of passenger services to Waikanae in order to reduce congestion on the coastal highway. Estimated cost, $14 Million.

* Track realignment and double-tracking in the Pukerua Bay area. Enables increased frequency of services to Waikanae and the Kapiti Coast. Estimated cost, $20 Million.

* Tunnel lowering and passing loops on the Johnsonville line to allow passenger trains to operate across the whole network increasing the frequency of services. Estimated cost $10 Million.

* Fixing capacity constraints in railyards to reduce delays to passenger trains. Needed if passenger services are increased. Estimated cost, $40 Million.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news