The Hutt Valley Line

The Hutt Valley Line is the name for the section of the Wairarapa Line railway between Wellington and Upper Hutt. Frequent passenger services run on the line each day stopping at 18 stations.

Over the last few years we completed upgrade work on the line in preparation for the introduction of the new Matangi trains which now run on it.

The current Wellington Metro Upgrade Project will build on these upgrades and deliver further improvements over the next eight years. This will further improve and maintain the reliability of commuter services.

Work on the Hutt Valley Line mainly relates to signaling system upgrades. Some of the signals on the line are near the end of their life and replacing them with modern equipment will reduce faults.

One of the major pieces of work will be the complete renewal of the Petone signaling system which is due to commence in 2013.

This will involve the complete resignalling of Petone and Taita and replacement of all remaining old style searchlight signals on the rest of the route.

Currently Petone and Taita have junctions and crossing places controlled by manned local signal boxes. The original signaling equipment will be replaced by modern computer based interlockings (CBI – the “brain” at the heart of a signaling installation) controlled from the National Network Control in Wellington Railway Station.

The new signals will be LED which are much brighter and have a longer bulb life. They are also mounted to a folding mast that will allow us to conduct safe and easy maintenance in a busy metro environment.

Design work is also under way for replacing the signals power supply (3300 volt overhead power line that supplies power to signals and their equipment alongside the track) between Ngauranga and Petone.

In addition, Petone traction substation is of an early design and is programmed for replacement 2013/2014, with planning work expected to commence during financial year 2013. The original building and some equipment will likely be retained with only the major life expired items being replaced.

Another major change for the line will be the work we are doing with Greater Wellington Regional Council to upgrade Naenae Station. This is due to be complete in August 2012.