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Contract good news for Wellington commuters

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Work to improve services for Wellington commuters passed an important milestone today (MONDAY) with the signing of a $49 million contract to replace the overhead line system that supplies power to Metlink’s commuter trains on the Hutt Line.

KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy signed the contract with Fulton Hogan and John Holland Australia, who are working together as JV Rail, at the Greater Wellington Regional Council offices.

KiwiRail and Greater Wellington Regional Council are working together on the project, which will involve replacing the existing timber poles with steel masts and renewing all the overhead wires. As part of the project, the system that supplies power to the signals on the Hutt line will be replaced and put underground at the same time

"Replacing these systems is a big win for Wellington rail commuters," Mr Reidy says.

"It is vital for the resilience of the network.

"Our infrastructure teams work incredibly hard to keep things running smoothly but the current systems are reaching the end of their life.

"Without this replacement programme commuters would have faced increasing disruptions to the service as the wooden poles reach the end of their lives. "The contract is part of a $98.4 million four-year project begun last year to replace the overhead power system between Wellington Station, Melling and Upper Hutt, as well as Ngaio and Johnsonville. The funding came from Central Government.

"The project, which will see 1274 existing poles and 38 kilometres of overhead wires replaced, is expected to be completed in 2021," says Mr Reidy. GW Sustainable Transport Committee Chairperson Barbara Donaldson welcomed the signing, saying "this is a major step forward in improving our rail network infrastructure and ensuring a more reliable and sustainable service to people from the Hutt Valley who make five million journeys each year on the Hutt Line".

"Significant investment is needed on the infrastructure due to the aging nature of the network and we are hoping for further investment to upgrade the rest of the infrastructure to unlock capacity and provide a modern, reliable service for all commuters in the Greater Wellington region," says Cr Donaldson.

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