Wellington Scoop

$96m to upgrade Wairarapa rail line plus double-tracking between Trentham and Upper Hutt

News from NZ Government
The Wairarapa rail line is to undergo a significant upgrade after the New Zealand Transport Agency Board approved a $96 million investment which will help grow the region’s economy and boost tourism.

This funding was set aside as part of the Government’s record $16.9 billion transport investment through the National Land Transport Programme aimed at supporting the regions, making it easier to get around our cities and saving lives.

Announcing the upgrade, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said without this investment, the Wairarapa line had been expected to deteriorate with more and more disruptions to services.

“This was simply unacceptable. Passengers have a right to expect a safe and reliable service, and this investment will ensure the long-term future of this route.

“It also highlights the importance our Government places on public transport,” Phil Twyford said.

The investment includes $50 million for track infrastructure for the Wairarapa. And an additional $46.2 million to be used on the rail line south of the Rimutaka Hill tunnel, including double-tracking between Trentham and Upper Hutt.

Phil Twyford said this investment is vital to unlocking Wairarapa’s potential for economic growth in business and tourism.

“One of the key drivers of growth is confidence and consistency. This will help with both.

“It will also give the Wellington Regional Council more confidence to invest in upgrading and improving the line’s rolling stock,” said Phil Twyford.

Work on the Wairarapa rail line is part of a total $196 million investment in the region and the Government’s wider $4 billion package in public transport, rapid rail, and rail. Work is expected to start April.


  1. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 9. October 2018, 10:31

    I pushed for this in 1988 when I re-timetabled the Hutt Valley line to provide improved service with better bus connections at the new Waterloo Interchange. The single track section required a workaround & limits options if trains are delayed. 30 years on – good news!

  2. Farmer Bill, 9. October 2018, 12:06

    Need to get the logs off the roads as they cause a lot more delay than cars! Get a log hub built just south of Featherston asap which will get rid of loads of logging trucks on the hill and over C. Calvi-Freeman’s way in Lower Hutt and Kaiwharawhara too.

  3. luke, 9. October 2018, 15:26

    Crazy it isn’t already double tracked to upper hutt. Should have been done years ago.

  4. Peter, 10. October 2018, 8:00

    It WAS double tracked , at least as far as Wallaceville. My property backs on to the line between UH and Wallaceville and I can recall the second line being ripped out. It’s also not that long ago that the Blenheim Street crossing had the second set of lines removed.