First mast raised for Wellington Traction Renewal Project

12 November 2013 1:01PM

Representatives from Greater Wellington Regional Council, Porirua City Council and the Ministry of Transport joined KiwiRail and contractors to celebrate the raising of the first traction mast in a major electrical upgrade project on the Kapiti Line today.


KiwiRail Chief Executive, Jim Quinn, said new overhead electrification hardware was being installed between Redwood and Muri in an 18 month operation which began in June this year.   The project was originally scheduled to take four years.

Mr Quinn said, “This upgrade will provide Wellington with another section towards a first class electrical system and fast-tracking the renewal will save several million dollars.”

“Today we can see some of the 299 foundations that have been already been laid in preparation for the new masts.  It’s exciting to be present to see the first mast being lifted into position.”

Over the coming months the remaining masts will be installed and a parallel underground “backbone” duct will be laid between Takapu Road and Muri Stations. This duct will house a new power supply for lineside signals and a fibre optic cable for control and communications and will provide capacity for future upgrades.

Once sufficient masts are in place, replacement of the overhead lines themselves will commence in January 2014 with the last section due to be complete in December 2014.

Mr Quinn says Wellington’s traction system has many parallels with Melbourne’s and the new technology matches similar upgrades in the Australian city.

The project is being delivered for KiwiRail by a joint venture between Fulton Hogan and Australian rail specialists, John Holland.

Funding for the project has been provided by the Ministry of Transport.


Issued by KiwiRail

Media contact: Sarah Pomeroy,, 021 804 906.