The work to double track the rail line between Trentham and Upper Hutt marks the start of the next exciting stage in KiwiRail’s programme across the Wellington network.
Over the Christmas break the Hutt Valley rail line will be closed to build an underpass at Trentham Station, with other station upgrades and the installation of a second, 2.7km section of track between Trentham and Upper Hutt expected to be completed within 18 months.
The start of substantive work was announced by Transport Minister Phil Twyford at an event in Trentham this morning.
“This is an important step in upgrading Wellington’s rail network and will help make the metro and Wairarapa commuter trains more reliable,” KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer - Capital Projects & Asset Development David Gordon says.
“Double tracking effectively removes a congestion point in the network and will create more flexibility when the two commuter services interact with each other and with our freight trains coming to and from the Wairarapa.
“These improvements will help ensure that existing commuter and freight services run smoothly and to schedule, which is important for the many thousands of people who train to work each day and KiwiRail’s freight customers.
“Sorting out this pinch point in the network is also crucial to support Greater Wellington Regional Council’s plans for more commuter trains in the decades ahead.”
KiwiRail is also building second platforms and shelters at Trentham and Wallaceville stations, additional rail lines at Upper Hutt to stable freight services, and making improvements to level crossings and signals to ensure safety and improve efficiency.
The work is part of a $193 million investment across the Wellington Metro Rail Network announced by the Government in late 2018, which is expected to be undertaken progressively until 2026. Greater Wellington Regional Council is contributing a further $3 million for the Trentham and Wallaceville station upgrades.
KiwiRail is also making good progress with an earlier Budget 2017 investment to replace Wellington’s overhead traction system and network power supply. So far nearly 700 of the 860 (80 per cent) mast foundations in the Hutt Valley have been replaced and more than 300 new poles installed.
An animated fly-through of the Trentham to Upper Hutt project is available for media use from this drop box: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1i066ykbc757bhn/AAARd1fPzJGfI1hWRxm2HFTDa?dl=0
More information about the work across the Wellington Metro Rail Network is available at: https://www.kiwirail.co.nz/what-we-do/projects/wellington/