New Zealand state-owned enterprise KiwiRail has completed the first stage of Wellington’s rail improvement works, which includes double-tracking the 2.7km line stretching from Trentham to Upper Hutt.
The work, announced in 2019, will help commuter services and freight trains pass by each other without waiting.
Among other developments are new platforms and shelters at Trentham and Wallaceville stations, a freight loop at Upper Hutt, improved parking conveniences, along with level crossing safety upgrades.
New Zealand Transport Minister Michael Wood said: “Trains on the Wellington network provide 14 million passenger journeys a year, helping to reduce emissions and congestion. Passenger numbers are forecast to keep growing our upgrades will keep that growth on track by supporting more services.
“This work is just one part of our Wellington rail package, which is supporting the region’s economic recovery and will make rail an even better option for Wellingtonians. Upgrades to the Wairarapa line, Plimmerton Station and the Capital Connection are all coming down the track.”
Nearly $423.25m (NZD600m) is being financed by the New Zealand Government for Wellington’s regional rail network.
Some of the developments include sleeper and track renewal on the Johnsonville Line, covering seven tunnels, as well as slope stabilisation work.
These are projected to be finished in 2023.
Plimmerton Station will be modernised for establishing a terminus while sleepers and tracks on the Tawa tunnels and Kapiti Line will be refurbished.
The tracks and sleepers on the Wairarapa Line, spanning 60km between Upper Hutt and Masterton, will be renewed.
In addition to drainage work, improvement work will be executed in the Remutaka Tunnel as well as three bridges.
Outdated carriages on the Capital Connection (Palmerston North – Wellington) will be replaced, with operations scheduled in late 2022/early 2023.
Furthermore, track layout and signals will be enhanced at the approach to Wellington Railway Station.
This is expected to remove bottlenecks, enabling more trains to access the terminus, which is projected to be finished in 2024.