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Rail tracks in ‘poor state’ Urgent repairs put a stop to Sunday schedule

Wairarapa commuters planning to catch a train on the Wairarapa Line this Sunday will need to use a bus replacement instead due to urgent work being carried out on the tracks in the Remutaka tunnel.

“As part of our regular track inspections, we have discovered that a 30 metre section of rail in the
tunnel is in a poor state,” KiwiRail general manager of metros Jon Knight told the Times-Age.

The small section of track in the Remutaka tunnel near Maymorn “needs to be urgently replaced”, Knight said.

“So our track teams will be carrying out this work on Sunday, 24 March, in order for trains to keep running at current speeds”.

Knight noted that “this will have minimal impact on the current travel time through
the tunnel”, given there is already a 60kmh speed restriction on the entire 8.8km length of track in the tunnel “due to its age”.

“KiwiRail is planning to upgrade all of the track in
the tunnel, which will remove the speed restriction,” Knight said.

“The bulk of this work is planned to take place over
the Christmas break.”

Metlink has apologised for any inconvenience Sunday’s closure of the Wairarapa line will cause and urged Wairarapa commuters to check its website [metlink.org.nz] for updates.

The announcement of the discovery of this new issue on the Wairarapa Line comes after it was recently found there could be “catastrophic” consequences for rail services if a land slip were to happen on a section of track 1.4 kilometres north of the Remutaka tunnel.

The risk of such a slip happening is estimated to be medium to high.

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