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New Express Train Goes on Trial in Wellington

28 November 2008

Passengers travelling on Tranz Metro trains may soon see an unfamiliar sight, a new electrically powered carriage train. The weekday service trial will change some timetables on the Upper Hutt and Paraparaumu lines while introducing new air-conditioned services.

"We have been able to introduce this addition to our fleet before full new printed timetables are produced, so passengers need to be aware of the changes during the trial," commented Graeme Mowday, Tranz Metro's marketing manager. "The service is also different to the regular commuter units and we think passengers will find the advantages of air conditioning and a smoother ride very appealing."

Six carriages similar to those on the popular Wairarapa service have been delivered by KiwiRail, with funding through Greater Wellington Regional Council. These feature doors that are opened by the passengers when a green light shows, rather than opening automatically at stations. The train also has a wheelchair hoist.

These carriages will be powered by two EO locomotives, which have been reconditioned and repainted by KiwiRail and previously operated through the Otira tunnel in South Island.

A new weekday express service has been created by the arrival of the train from Monday 8th December; leaving Upper Hutt at 7.04am, all stations to Taita and then Waterloo and Wellington, arriving at 7.54am. In the evening the service will leave Wellington at 5.12pm, arriving in Upper Hutt at 5.53pm.

The train will also replace a service on the Paraparaumu line. It will take the place of the 8.10am from Wellington to Plimmerton, changing it to a through express service so passengers wishing to go to intermediate stations should catch the earlier 8.00am or later 8.30am. The new train will then run on the existing 8.42am service from Plimmerton to Wellington but leave 1 minute earlier.

"The trial will give us an opportunity to confirm timings before the new timetable kicks off in the new year," added Mr Mowday. "It will also treat Tranz Metro passengers to a new, air conditioned train earlier in the summer."

More information is available via leaflets from Tranz Metro ticket agents, at www.tranzmetro.co.nz or via Metlink on 0800 801 700.

ENDS

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More press information:

Nigel Parry

Marketing Communications Manager - KiwiRail

+64 27 435 9464

nigel.parry@kiwirail.co.nz