New Zealand state-owned enterprise KiwiRail has announced that the rail line from Trentham to Upper Hutt will be double-tracked as part of KiwiRail’s programme to upgrade the Wellington network.

The company will temporarily close the Hutt Valley rail line to construct. This allows them to construct an underpass at Trentham Station and make other upgrades to the station.

It will also install a 2.7km section of track on the route from Trentham to Upper Hutt. It has scheduled the work for completion in the next 18 months.

KiwiRail has also announced plans for the construction of additional platforms and shelters at Trentham and Wallaceville stations. It will also install extra rail lines at Upper Hutt and make upgrades to level crossings and signals.

These upgrades form part of an NZD193m ($126.6m) investment for the Wellington Metro Rail Network. The Government of New Zealand allocated these funds in 2018.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council has since announced another NZD3m ($1.96m) for the enhancement of Trentham and Wallaceville stations.

KiwiRail capital projects and asset development COO David Gordon said: “This is an important step in upgrading Wellington’s rail network and will help make the metro and Wairarapa commuter trains more reliable.

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“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.”

In September this year, the Government of New Zealand revealed plans to invest NZD94.8m ($60.9m) to upgrade the North Auckland Line between Swanson and Whangarei in Northland.

This May, the government allocated NZD1bn ($651m) in the latest national budget to bolster railway infrastructure. The funding will be available to KiwiRail over the next two years.