Media Advisory – Kapiti Line Metro Services Update 26 February

26 February 2015 4:04PM

Tranz Metro services between Wellington and Porirua remain suspended until further notice and buses will continue to be provided for customers travelling between those stations.

This follows yesterday’s incident when a large section of a Macrocapa tree fell across the tracks damaging overhead traction cables. While work is nearly complete on repairing the damaged overhead traction wires, further work is needed to remove the remainder tree, says General Manager Metro David Shepherd.  

Commuters should plan for significant delays or make alternative travel arrangements if possible although the Capital Connection will run as normal.  

“We appreciate this will cause considerable frustration for commuters but we are not going to run trains until we are 100 per cent confident that the area is safe,” says Mr Shepherd. 

"We have had staff on-site since early this morning progressively removing the tree and are doing everything we can to re-open the line and restore services as quickly as possible.

However it is a difficult site and a big tree, and the work needs to be done carefully, so there is no more damage to the overhead wires. “Safety is our priority it is important that there is no further risk to our customers and staff.”  

Bus replacements have been arranged for the remainder of the day, to ensure continuity of service for commuters, but if the work can be completed later this afternoon some train services may be introduced.   

Further updates will be given later this afternoon and customers are advised to check the Tranz Metro website at www.tranzmetro.co.nz for further updates. Text and email alerts will also be provided to customers.  

“KiwiRail has a substantial tree management programme, and work had been done in this area of the network over the Xmas holiday period. Twice weekly inspections are carried out on the rail line and train drivers also advise of any hazards, or potential hazards, they may see.  

“We will need to determine the precise location of the tree in relation to the rail corridor boundary and we will be liaising with third parties if necessary in due course,” says Mr Shepherd.  

Media Contact: 04 498 2038