Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
Wairarapa peak hour commuters are enjoying a less crowded train home now that an extra carriage has been added to the 4.25pm service from Wellington to Masterton. The train now runs with eight carriages instead of seven.
Peter Glensor, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Economic Wellbeing Committee, says he’s pleased the extra carriage has been added as the overcrowding on that particular service has been happening for quite some time.
“Concerns about insufficient capacity on that service came through pretty clearly when we started a review of Wairarapa public transport services in 2011. A survey we did as part of that review found that 50% of all north-bound passengers use the 4.25pm service each day. For a few months now people have had to stand all the way to Featherston. So it’s great that with KiwiRail’s cooperation we’ve been able to increase capacity on that service. Regular commuters have told us it’s making a real difference.
“We’re aware that the overcrowding on that service has deterred people from taking the train and they’ve reverted to their cars. I’m sure that when word gets out about the increased capacity, people will come back to rail. It’s a lot cheaper to take the train than drive that distance every day and it saves quite a bit of wear and tear on your car.”
Peter Glensor says the Regional Council has also recently let the contract for the conversion of six carriages, previously used on the Hutt Valley Line, for use on the Wairarapa Line. “Having more carriages available will give Tranz Metro a bit more flexibility, particularly when carriages have to be taken off line for maintenance or repairs.”
These additional carriages are expected to be ready for service on the Wairarapa Line around the middle of year.