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Intensive work this holiday on Wellington rail

Media advisory

16 December 2009

Intensive work this holiday on Wellington rail network

Intensive work is planned for Wellington’s rail network this summer as KiwiRail takes advantage of the quiet holiday period to advance the region’s rail upgrade.

Construction will start early on Boxing Day and buses will replace some trains while the work is carried out. Teams will continue to work around the clock until regular train services resume on 6 January 2010.

Most of the activity will be focused at the entrance to Wellington Station where a third main line is being installed. Once it is operational in mid-2010, the third line will increase capacity and remove a bottleneck at a busy point in the network.

From 6am Friday 26 December to midnight Tuesday 5 January buses will replace trains between Wellington and Johnsonville, Petone and Tawa so KiwiRail can carry out its heavy work programme. Wairarapa peak services will operate over this period but midday Wairarapa services will be replaced by buses between Upper Hutt and Wellington.

A Christmas timetable will operate from 25 December to 5 January. On that last day there could be some delays during peak hours as 5 January is the first official day back at work after the statutory holidays. Passengers may like to take an earlier service that morning. More information about bus replacements is available at www.tranzmetro.co.nz or via Metlink on 0800 801 700.

Wellington Region Rail Programme Director David Gordon said the intense work load during the holiday period was designed to get as much done as possible with minimal disruption to commuters.

“Laying new track, connecting it into existing lines and moving the overhead power and signalling equipment is work that we simply cannot do while trains are running. As we don’t have the option of sending trains on an alternative route we need to choose times to carry out this work when the least number of people are using the services,” David Gordon said.

“We’re going to be working around the clock to make the most of the time we’ve got but that will inevitably have an impact on nearby residents. I’d like to thank them in advance for their patience while we carry out this important work.”

Elsewhere on the network, work will begin on resurfacing Wellington Railway Station platforms and improvements will continue on the reconstruction of Pukerua Bay platform, and on the upgrade of the overhead line system which powers Wellington’s electric trains.

The work is part of the Wellington Region Rail Programme, a series of improvements to the Wellington railway system that will give commuters more reliable passenger services. This is a joint initiative between the Greater Wellington Regional Council and KiwiRail (ONTRACK and Tranz Metro).

The Wellington Region Rail Programme includes:
• A fleet of new electric trains – the Matangi trains
• Extension of electrification and double tracked lines to take commuter services to Waikanae;
• Installation of power supply equipment and railway signalling;
• Adding another line into Wellington Railway Station to reduce delays;
• Making the Johnsonville Line tunnels larger; and
• Improving a number of platform and station facilities.


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