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Buses replace J'ville trains Sunday-Thursday night

News release from ONTRACK,Tranz Metro and Greater Wellington

1 September 2008

Buses replace J'ville trains Sunday-Thursday nights

From this Sunday 7 September buses will replace Johnsonville trains from 8pm on Sundays to Thursdays, so work can be done in preparation for enlarging the seven tunnels on the line, to accommodate bigger and newer trains.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Deputy Chair, Peter Glensor, said there would be disruptions to services for the next few months, as the Johnsonville line upgrade was a major construction project. "But there will be long-term benefits. When the work is complete, Johnsonville residents ad commuters will be able to benefit from new electric trains that will come into service from 2010."

Tranz Metro spokesman Nigel Parry said buses would replace all trains on the Johnsonville line from 8pm on Sundays to Thursdays until early December. The bus replacement service will stop at all stations on the Johnsonville line. All daytime services and Friday and Saturday night services will run as normal.

Buses from Wellington to Johnsonville will leave from the area next door to Platform 9, while buses from Johnsonville to Wellington will leave outside the station on Moorefield Road.

ONTRACK's director of the Wellington Region Rail Programme, David Gordon, said the night closure of the line would enable preparatory work to be done for lowering the track in the seven tunnels on the line, so bigger and newer trains could run between Johnsonville and Wellington. As well as making the tunnels bigger, the construction work includes lengthening three crossing loops, allowing longer trains to run; upgrading parts of the signalling and power supply; and extending and upgrading platforms.

"Unfortunately residents who live near the line may be affected by noise at some stages and, because of the tight timeframe for construction, soil and waste material will be deposited near the line and tidied up later, so the surroundings will look worse for a while.

"We will make every effort to minimise noise and other disruption but ask residents to bear with us while we carry out this important work."

More information about the Johnsonville line construction work is available at www.ontrack.govt.nz

ENDS

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