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Region’s commuters face multiple bus trips over hill

Metlink has confirmed that Wairarapa commuters will need to board bus replacements over the hill to Wellington on Monday, due to scheduled maintenance on the region’s train line.

The transport agency said all train services from tomorrow evening until Anzac Day, inclusive, will be affected by the outage.

The change will include Monday’s three peak morning services from Masterton to Wellington and the three returning evening services.

Metlink acting general manager Tim Shackleton confirmed the upcoming outage is not due to the driver shortages that had plagued Metlink at the end of last year, causing services to be suspended.

Instead, the bus replacements from tomorrow until April 25 are to allow for “necessary work … to improve reliability, punctuality, and travel time” on the Wairarapa line.

Shackleton said planned maintenance by KiwiRail – across 35kms of track, 12 level crossings, and three bridges – could ultimately double peak-time services if government funding comes through for a new train fleet.

“For Wairarapa commuters to benefit further from these upgrades, Metlink is seeking funding from central government in this year’s budget to purchase new rolling stock to replace the current ageing trains with a fleet of 22 hybrid electric trains,” he said.

Buses have replaced trains on the Wairarapa line during weekends and off-peak times on Monday to Friday for close to two years to allow for the upgrades.

The first bus replacement for the scheduled five-day train outage will be tomorrow’s 10.25pm service from Wellington.

The last replacement before reverting to normal services will be 6.55pm from Wellington on Tuesday, April 25, which has a Sunday calendar due to the public holiday.


  1. This is why you don’t fill trains because of incompetence you always have excuses why the trains don’t run which people loose faith in the system who wants apoxy bus over the hill that’s why they built the tunnel in the 50s

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Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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