Wairarapa train disruptions

We appreciate the frustration Wairarapa Line passengers are experiencing at the moment with extended journey times.

$375 million is being invested to upgrade the aging Wairarapa Line, to improve its resilience and support more reliable and frequent trains. Some of the current delays are due to speed restrictions on the lines, which are put in place to ensure trains can keep running safely. Speed restrictions are often in places where upgrade work is going on, has just been done and needs time to bed in, or where major work is yet to be done – such as in the Remutaka Tunnel. They are also used when a track fault has been discovered and needs to be fixed.

Currently there are approximately 15 minutes of speed restriction delays on the line – which will be reduced over time.

Other factors also influence service reliability, such as short-term infrastructure faults and train crewing shortages.

Wairarapa speed restriction sites include:
  • Carriage vibrations in Wairarapa (~6min), north of Featherston – KiwiRail and Metlink are working together on a solution. Speed currently restricted to 60 km/h along parts of a 16km section of track.
  • Renall Street Level Crossing (~1.5min), Featherston – Safety related. Signalling design work required. Speed currently restricted to 10 km/h.
  • Speedy’s Crossing (~1min), near Featherston – Safety related, following a major vehicle collision a few years ago. This will be mitigated by the Wairarapa level crossing project. Speed currently restricted to 40 km/h.
  • Remutaka Tunnel (~3min) – 8.8km track replacement required, scheduled for Christmas 2024. Speed currently restricted to 60 km/h.