Press Release – KiwiRail
Engineers have identified some areas of Wellington Railway Station that may require strengthening to make them safer in the event of a significant earthquake.
KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn says engineering advice shows the Wellington Railway Station is expected to be above the 34% minimum threshold of the New Building Standard, meaning it is not an earthquake prone building.
However, Mr Quinn says the station is a complex structure and KiwiRail is expecting further advice. “Detailed investigation is underway and we expect the final report in late November, which will confirm what if any action is required.”
To date, engineers have identified three areas for detailed investigation which may lead to remedial work to enhance the building‘s safety. These are:
• the internal stairs in the station’s office space
• the main atrium concourse (just inside the main entrance), and
• the building’s façade.
In the office stairwells, engineers have advised the main landings are well secured to the main structure although the steps and small landings themselves will be damaged in a significant earthquake.
In the main atrium, and around the building’s facade, engineers say there could be some risk of falling plaster or masonry in a significant earthquake. Mr Quinn says engineers are now examining these risks and the best way to address them.
“KiwiRail is also expecting more information about the earthquake performance of Wellington Railway Station and its various features in coming weeks.
“This building is a Wellington landmark and a rich piece of our history. The safety of those who occupy and use it is our top priority,” Mr Quinn says.
The work at the Wellington Railway Station is part of KiwiRail’s Building Resilience Programme examining all its buildings around the country.
Where buildings are earthquake prone, staff, customers or tenants are being notified and where required work is being undertaken to ensure people’s safety.
“KiwiRail takes its responsibility in this area very seriously. People’s safety is non-negotiable,” says Mr Quinn.