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Wellington Metro Upgrade Programme

Building a better rail network for the Wellington region

Wellingtonians and visitors take more than 14 million passenger journeys a year on the Wellington Metro Rail Network.

While the rail network is well maintained, some parts of it are wearing out and need to be replaced. 

KiwiRail, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Metlink are working together to upgrade the rail network to makes services more reliable and enable more people and freight to travel on trains in the future, with funding provided by the New Zealand Government.

Works in the Wellington Metro Upgrade Programme (WUMP) can be divided into two main areas:

Renewing existing infrastructure so services run as smoothly as possible:

  • Replacing and modernising the overhead power system and signals power supply, and
  • Renewing the track, across the network including inside the four major tunnels.

Adding capacity so more people can travel on trains in the future while still allowing for freight services:

  • Double tracking between Trentham and Upper Hutt,
  • Improvements to Wellington Railway Station approaches and changes at Plimmerton.

These improvements will mean fewer speed restrictions and outages. They’ll also enable Metlink to schedule longer trains, and more services for commuters, and KiwiRail to schedule more freight services for local businesses. Improving the network is an on-going project. Currently funded works will be delivered until 2026.

Find out about the programme in detail.

Our works are spread across the wider Wellington metro network

Find out more about works underway on:

View all the proposed upgrade activities here.

Being good neighbours

We’re mindful of how work affects our neighbours. We always strive to finish projects as quickly and efficiently as possible. We plan our works to balance the needs of our neighbours with those of passengers and freight customers.

If you have any queries or concerns about our activity please contact us on:

Find out more here.


Trains during construction

We aim to keep the trains running while upgrading the rail network safely. However some work can only be done when there are no trains, so changes to services are inevitable. We work closely with Metlink to minimise the impact on passenger trains, and ensure alternative transport options are in place.

Find out more here.


Who’s involved

Delivering Wellington Metro’s upgrade involves several organisations working together to increase the capacity and resilience of the region’s network. KiwiRail works closely with the funders (Crown and New Zealand Transport Agency), passenger train service providers (Greater Wellington Regional Council and Transdev Wellington) and our own freight team to deliver the essential upgrades as quickly as possible.

Find out more here.


Changes at Wellington Railway Station will enable for more trains, more often - this is important as:

• Peak period patronage is forecast to keep growing – the last three years it’s increased by 13.6%. To manage demand the network needs to be able to handle longer trains and more services.

• Passenger trains are environmentally sustainable (lower carbon emissions compared to cars) and reduce road congestion, which benefits the region's economy. Their estimated benefit for the Wellington region is in excess of $290 million.

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