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Hutt and Kapiti lines reopen after derailment; northbound congestion for afternoon traffic

Wellington.Scoop
After last night’s derailment, Hutt Valley and Kapiti line train services resumed from the Wellington railway station at 4.45 this afternoon, 45 minutes later than intended. Metlink said there would be a half hourly timetable, stopping at all stations.

Melling trains were still cancelled. Johnsonville trains were running as usual.

There was again congestion for drivers this afternoon. At 4.40 and again at 5.30, the NZTA said there were queues from Ngauranga back through the Terrace Tunnel. All local roads and onramps were affected including from Cobham Drive.

Metlink says there may be some disruption to trains during peak hours tomorrow morning, as carriages need to be rearranged. For the rest of the week, speed restrictions are likely, causing delays in and out of Wellington on the Hutt, Kapiti and Wairarapa Lines.

News from KiwiRail
KiwiRail is on track to reopen the rail lines into Wellington in time for today’s late-afternoon commuter peak.

Eight sets of points (which allow trains to switch tracks) and sections of track were damaged on Tuesday night when four container wagons on a freight train derailed at the junction as it was leaving the Wellington Rail Yard. The rail lines were closed from about 7.40pm.

KiwiRail crews from across the lower North Island worked through the night to remove the train and derailed wagons and have today been focussed on repairing the rail lines. KiwiRail crews will continue to work on the junction at night over the course of the week, to fully restore the network to its normal operation. This will be done when commuter trains are not operating.

KiwiRail is investigating the cause of the derailment and how to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Wellington.Scoop
A derailed freight train damaged the tracks and points just outside Wellington station last night. As a result, there were no train services this morning in and out of Wellington on the Hutt, Kapiti, Melling and Wairarapa lines. Metlink was only able to provide six replacement buses on each line; they could not cope with the numbers of travellers, and their service was impacted by heavy delays due to high traffic.

The NZTA advised that long morning delays to southbound road traffic involved queues on SH1 from Porirua, and queues back to the Haywards interchange on SH2.

At 9.45, the congestion was easing – with SH1 delays from Johnsonville and SH2 delays from Petone.

News from Metlink
Last night, at about 7:40pm a freight train derailed and caused services to be suspended at Wellington Junction, where the Hutt Valley and Kapiti lines merge. The wagons remained upright but it took the locomotive engineer 230 metres before he was able to stop the train, leaving damaged tracks and points on the main tracks into Wellington.

Work crews are on site working to re-rail the freight train and repair the damage, but we have no indication of how long this will take. It is likely to continue to impact services in the afternoon. Crews have been working through the night to re-rail the train.

Kapiti line:
Reduced train services stopping at all stations will run on a half hourly timetable from 6am between Waikanae and Porirua only. These services will depart Waikanae at :00 and :30 past the hour and depart Porirua, returning to Waikanae at :05 and :35 past the hour. If you are wanting to travel between Porirua and Wellington we recommend alternative transport or avoiding travel.

Hutt Valley line:
Reduced train services stopping at all stations will run on a half hourly timetable from 6am between Upper Hutt and Petone only. These services will depart Upper Hutt at :00 and :30 past the hour and depart Petone, returning to Upper Hutt at :15 and :45 past the hour. If you are wanting to travel between Petone and Wellington we recommend alternative transport or avoiding travel.

We have sourced only six buses to travel between Masterton and Wellington in the morning, which will be departing at 6.47am only. We recommend alternative transport or avoiding travel.

Melling line:
All Melling line services are cancelled. Please arrange alternative transport or avoid travel.

Johnsonville line:
Train services will continue to run to timetable on the Johnsonville line as it is not affected by the derailment.

Wellington.Scoop – July 2
A disabled freight train stopped services in and out of Wellington on the Kapiti and Hutt Valley lines tonight. At 8.45, Metlink advised:

bus replacements have now begun on the Kapiti and Hutt Valley lines after an earlier disabled freight train suspended services in and out of Wellington.

Buses were carrying travellers between Wellington and Porirua and between Wellington and Upper Hutt.

Train services continued between Porirua and Waikanae, but there were delays.

1 comment:

  1. Greywarbler, 3. July 2019, 12:07

    Let Wellington’s experience be a shining light leading the way to the best path forward for Auckland. Keep the light rail or whatever is chosen, separate from freight. Give the mainly people transport its own path.

    And Wellington our hearts go out to you. If only the system was run by one government SOE that was answerable to the City Council and tamed under their rule – the Crouching Tiger Bus Company? Unfortunately it’s ‘let’s everyone Have-a-Go’ time, with efficiency coming close behind but not pushing to the fore. [abridged]

     

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