Wellington rail services are back on track

17 November 2016 9:09AM

All passenger services in Wellington are again up and running just three days after rail services were disrupted by a severe earthquake, strong aftershocks and extreme weather conditions. 

On Wednesday KiwiRail track staff worked throughout the day to clear a blocked culvert near Paekakariki, enabling MetLink services to operate a full timetable of passenger services between Plimmerton and Wellington in time for rush hour.

KiwiRail’s long distance passenger service the Capital Connection and Scenic Journeys services the TranzAlpine and Northern Explorer were also operating yesterday and will continue to operate as normal today. The Coastal Pacific remains cancelled due to significant track damage on the Main North Line.

KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says KiwiRail’s focus is on supporting customers during these challenging times by bringing ferry operations and rail services in the South Island back to speed.

“We are working closely with our partners and transport agencies to ensure that New Zealand keeps moving during this difficult time. By coordinating efficiently with our partners we hope to keep disruptions to a minimum and to have as much of our network as possible operating at full capacity soon.”

“What has been really pleasing has been that New Zealand’s exporters have not faced any significant disruption from the earthquakes.”

In Wellington, Centre Port and KiwiRail are undertaking repairs and inspections of the linkspan and in Picton, KiwiRail is working closely with the Port of Marlborough to create a safe area for disembarking foot passengers who are presently unable to check in.

The rail-enabled Aratere ferry will remain berthed in Wellington pending clearance of the Wellington rail span. It is expected that full freight services will be operational on the Cook Strait by early next week.

KiwiRail has also set up coordination centres in Christchurch and Wellington to enable a closer working relationship with the New Zealand Transport Agency as work continues to assess the damage to the Main North Line and SH1.


Alex Beedell

027 406 7345