Disruption to Hutt Valley and Wairarapa train lines this week

24 June 2013 9:09AM

KiwiRail is advising Hutt Valley Line and Wairarapa Line train commuters to expect and plan for longer than usual travel times into Wellington City this week, as a result of significant damage to rail tracks in Petone during last week’s storm.

“The track damage means no trains will be able to run between Petone and Wellington until repairs are completed and all train services between Petone and Wellington will need to be bus replaced until further notice. From Monday morning’s peak, a special half hourly timetable will run on the Hutt Valley Line with trains running between Upper Hutt and Petone until further notice. The Wairarapa line will also be affected and some services will be cancelled and some will be bus replaced,” Tranz Metro Manager Scott Brooks.

The reduced train services and bus replacements is likely to increase traffic congestion and commuters are being urged to prepare for this and to expect their commuting time to be longer than usual this week.  There will also be no parking on Hutt Road, south of the Petone Railway Station, which will be utilised as a bus parking layby for the train replacement buses.

KiwiRail is working with NZ Police, New Zealand Transport Agency and Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office in an effort to minimise the disruption to commuters.

NZ Police Hutt Valley Area Inspector Mike Hill is urging commuters to consider carpooling if they decide to travel by car into Wellington City.

“We would like commuters to plan ahead so they leave plenty of time to get to their destination, drive to the conditions and be patient. People should expect some congestion on the roads, particularly around Petone, and if travel is urgent, it might be wise to look at alternative means of transport. If you can carpool with others, this is a good way to ease traffic congestion,” Inspector Hill says.

Mr Brooks says KiwiRail Infrastructure and Engineering staff have been working around the clock since the storm to ensure that repairs are completed as quickly as possible to minimise any longer term disruption to Hutt Valley and Wairarapa Line commuters. However, in some places the ballast has been completely washed away, and it will take time for repairs to be finished.

Tranz Metro has put a special timetable for the Hutt Valley Line and the Wairarapa Line on their website and is urging customers to check the website before they travel at www.tranzmetro.co.nz.

“As we have more information we will update customers but for the foreseeable future customers should plan their travel around the special timetable,” says Mr Brooks.

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