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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Asbestos under control... time for an upgrade

Paraparaumu Railway Station being upgraded in 2011.
Picture from Better Transport.
Back in the day I used to regularly catch the train from Trentham to Petone and sometimes Waterloo. It's great to see how modern the system is now, thanks to upgrades to the network and some of the stations. It seems though that a few critical upgrades - to stations and trackwork - have yet to go ahead.


The Dom Post reports that Melling Railway Station has been cleared of asbestos. Parts of railway stations in Taita and Upper Hutt also tested positive for asbestos dust, but have been sealed off.

Since July 2011 the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) has had responsibility for the regions stations (except Wellington Railway Station, which is still owned by KiwiRail). GWRC also owns the rolling stock, while Tranz Metro runs the trains. As part of this acquisition a Regional Rail Plan was put together, which included some upgrades to stations and double-tracking the line from Trentham to Upper Hutt. This will mean more frequent rail commuter services can be run.

However it seems that Taita and Upper Hutt stations have missed out, and the double-tracking has yet to go ahead. Now that the asbestos issue has been resolved, it's time to get on with upgrading the stations.

2 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more. Large stretches of single track still exist in the Wellington rail network that are hampering our ability to deliver faster and more frequent services. In some cases - such as the Johnsonville line, Rimutaka tunnel or coastal section of the Waikanae line - there are geographical constraints that aren't cheaply overcome, but for the most part we have the space however the investment simply hasn't been made.

    Which is a pity as having double lining right the way through could allow for more express services.

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    Replies
    1. The section from Trentham - Upper Hutt has to be the easiest job. The land's already there and the current single track is even aligned for it. The most expensive part will probably be building a new station (with a second platform) at Wallaceville. There's a big housing development that's in the works for the area, now that AgResearch has closed its Upper Hutt facility and attempts to find another user have fallen through. That means a lot more people in the area needing transport to and from Wellington City.

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