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Wellington Metro upgrade

The Wellington Metro Rail Network provides more than 13 million passenger journeys a year for the approximately 500,000 people who live in the region.

During peak periods, the network transports 18,000 workers and students into and out of the city each day, which equates to 23% of all CBD peak travel. Of the 18,000 passengers, 85% travel on two of the five Metro lines (the Hutt Valley and Kapiti Lines).

However, the network is ageing and parts of it are nearing the end of life, much of it on the Wairarapa Line. As a result, parts of the network have speed restrictions or are increasingly seeing outages that cause train delays (particularly on the Wairarapa Line) and frustrate commuters.

The Wellington Metro Upgrade will add capacity to the Wellington lines and increase resilience.  This is essential work to keep the lower North Island moving.

The project is split into three parts. They are:

  • Hutt Line traction renewal
  • Unlocking capacity and improving resilience
  • Catch-up renewals
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Wellington Rail Network Upgrade Timeline

Benefits

  • The Wellington Metro network is a key contributor to the region’s economy, providing safe and effective transport for the local community. The upgrade project will help ensure a modern passenger rail system that is reliable, timely, and well used.
  • Peak period patronage has grown a total of 17% over the last three years, and is forecast to keep growing. As a result, the network needs to be able to handle longer trains and more services.
  • Not only are passenger trains environmentally sustainable (lower carbon emissions compared to cars) but they reduce congestion on the roads during peak times, which benefits the region's economy. The estimated net benefit to the Wellington region is more than $290 million.
Mast replacements

Piling new foundations to install new steel masts, replacing old wooden masts, as part of the Wellington Metro Upgrade Programme.

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Being good neighbours

We’re mindful of how work affects neighbours and always strive to finish projects as quickly and efficiently as possible. We try to do as much of the work during weekday hours as possible but some work is required when trains are not running at night or during weekends and on public holidays.

More information

Answers to common questions

Contact details

Queries and concerns: 04 282 1507 (24 hours) or contactus@kiwirail.co.nz

Questions about passenger travel: metlink.org.nz