Major Kapiti Line work milestone reached after line blocked for Easter

11 April 2012 9:09AM

Over the Easter break a major milestone was achieved on the Kapiti Line with the replacement of the last stretch of old overhead wire through the tunnels south of Paekakariki, says Infrastructure and Engineering General Manager Rick van Barneveld.

“All the single tracked section of the line through the tunnels now has new overhead wire and associated equipment which means a more reliable service for commuters. A new and modern overhead line system means less disruption caused by line faults.”

“KiwiRail and its main contractor Norfolk have been working hard to upgrade the line over the last few months and have installed around 10 kms of new wire along with all the traction poles holding the wire up. Although new wire is something most people would not notice with the naked eye, these improvements will significantly increase the reliability of the line which improves our commuter service.”

“When work on the single track section is complete we will be turning our attention to renewing of the double track section south of Paekakariki.”

Over the past few months new traction poles and portals on this section have been installed and these are now ready to receive some new overhead wire.

"The Kapiti Line is some of the most weather exposed on the network, in addition some of the equipment on the line is over 80 years old. We have been working to replace aging infrastructure on the line which when completed will include a total of around 30 kms of overhead wire and many poles that support these wires.”

Many of the old poles on the line are made of timber, not the best material to withstand a sea exposed environment. We have been replacing these with steel structures on new piled concrete foundations designed to modern standards that will better withstand weather and time. The end result will be a modern line that will increase the reliability of the services that use it.

All the major works between Muri and Paekakariki are due to be completed in August this year.

During the Easter break we took full advantage of reduced passenger services on the lines and continued our upgrade work on the Johnsonville, Wairarapa and Hutt Line. This work included installing new contact wire and signals, upgrading turnout areas and work on tunnel two on the NIMT to improve its drainage and water resistance.

ENDS

Media contact: Candice Johanson, Senior Communications Advisor, 021 804 906 or 04 498 3383