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Major work on Wellington rail network completed

13 January, 2011

Major work on Wellington rail network completed

Major works were completed on the Wellington rail network while most New Zealanders were enjoying the holiday break. Hundreds of railway staff and contractors worked around the clock on programmes to improve and maintain the rail network.

“KiwiRail is extremely grateful for the tolerance of commuters, and residents living near where the works were taking place. We were able to take full advantage of the line closures and complete works to improve our infrastructure. At the end of the day we invest in the work so that the reliability of our services is improved and we can offer our customers a better experience,” says General Manager Rick van Barneveld.

“Despite some challenging weather during the works, some good progress was made, including some significant work on the upgrade of Kenepuru Station and major work on tunnel two on the Kapiti Line.”

“Staff worked hard to complete the works, some of which included activities on difficult to access infrastructure that could not have been done with passenger trains running.”

The work included upgrading tunnel two on the North Island Main Trunk (NIMT), replacing overhead wiring and poles south of Paekakariki, removal of overgrown vegetation, the installation of drainage culverts, upgrades to Kenepuru station and slope stabilisation work.

The work on tunnel two included the installation of 4.4 km of new rail, 6,500 concrete sleepers and 3000 m3 of new ballast (line foundation material).

“This work alone is a significant achievement and the completion of it significantly contributes to our ongoing programme of improving the rail network so the reliability of our services increases.”

Following the works there is currently a speed restriction on for around 4.5 km on the Kapiti line through tunnel two, which will limit how fast trains can travel for a short period of time.

“Until we get some tonnage over the new tracks to ensure they have settled in, we need to drive at restricted speed in some sections. In about a week, we’ll be up to a new faster line speed and we thank passengers for their patience during this time.

The Kenepuru Station upgrade is due to be completed as scheduled on 24 January. The upgrade works include resurfacing of both platforms, the refurbishment of the southbound platform frontage and upgrading the main access path on the southbound side to prevent erosion.


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