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Plans to minimise industrial action effect

MEDIA RELEASE
June 2006

For immediate release


Tranz Metro’s plans to minimise industrial action effect

Proposed industrial action by ONTRACK track maintenance staff is likely to cause significant disruptions to Wellington commuter rail services.

From Wednesday 28 June ONTRACK maintenance staff will only respond to call outs anywhere in the rail network between 7:30am and 4:00pm weekdays unless there is an issue of safety. This means signalling, track and overhead power supply problems will not be repaired outside of these hours.

Depending on the timing and location of any problem it is likely that Wellington rail commuters will be impacted.

“Given that we can’t predict where and when the problems might occur, Tranz Metro has developed contingency plans to minimise the impact on customers” says Ross Hayward National Passenger Manager for Tranz Metro.

Measures put in place include adopting an enhanced Saturday timetable on the Hutt Valley, Johnsonville, and Paraparaumu lines from Thursday 29 June for all weekdays that the industrial action is being taken. Additional services will be added to all three lines during the morning peak.

“Operating a Saturday timetable means reducing the risk of signal and points failures because of less points and signal switching. We will be running the maximum number of carriages possible with all trains stopping at all stations. Wairarapa services will continue to operate to the current timetable.”

Melling services between Wellington and the Western Hutt will not operate for the duration of the planned industrial action.

“The problem is not of our making but it is our customers who will feel the most impact. Even with these measures in place, there are likely to be significant disruptions and delays if track problems develop and ONTRACK maintenance staff are not available to fix them” Mr Hayward said.

Asked if buses would be provided as an alternative Mr Hayward said that bus replacements are not a viable option. “During peak periods there are very few buses available as they are also busy taking commuters to and from work” he said.

Information on delays and the timetables operating will be updated on the Tranz Metro website www.tranzmetro.co.nz regularly. Those people subscribed to the Metro Alert system will receive regular text message updates.

Passengers can also call Metlink on 0800 801 700 or Tranz Metro’s train arrival lines for up to date information.


ENDS

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