Christmas renewal work begins on the Wairarapa and Hutt Valley Lines

08 December 2015 12:12PM

KiwiRail has started the next stage of its programme to upgrade the Wellington rail network ahead of a series of major projects that will be completed over the holiday period. 

Metro General Manager, David Shepherd, says that the work will deliver long-term improvements in reliability and efficiency of the network and customer service.

“There will be some delays to Tranz Metro services on the Kapiti, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa lines in the weeks leading up to the holidays as preparation for the Christmas track work get underway. At this stage we are forecasting delays of up to 8 minutes for the Kapiti and Hutt Valley lines and up to 15 minutes for the Wairarapa service.

“We acknowledge that this will impact on travel times, but the speed restrictions are essential because our staff and customers need to be safe at all times. We will keep customers fully updated on what is happening.”

Mr Shepherd says that Metro services will not be running between Wellington and Upper Hutt station from 26 December 2015 through until 4 January 2016.

“The Christmas and New Year period is when passenger numbers are much lower than during the rest of the year. Closing the lines means that KiwiRail will be able to get a significant amount of the renewal work completed, and more efficiently than when regular services are running.” 

“The work will include replacing the spans and sleepers on the bridge at Eastern Hutt Road in Silverstream.

“This bridge is located on a major rail passenger route and has a history of being struck by trucks and heavy vehicles. The bridge will be strengthened and its height will be raised to allow more clearance for vehicles passing underneath.

“Our teams will also be installing new sleepers and upgrading three level crossings at Sutherland Avenue, Ward Street and Blenheim Street between Trentham and Upper Hutt and also replacing sleepers on a section of the line at Kaiwharawhara.”   

“Tranz Metro train services on the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa lines will continue to operate until 26 December. Customers should plan for some delays in the coming weeks with the speed restrictions due to start being lifted in January,” says Mr Shepherd.

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