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Two more dead-end proposals

KiwiRail surprised Carterton District Council [CDC] yesterday by delivering flyers to residents that outlined a proposal to close two more level crossings in Carterton – which would effectively turn Rhodes St and Brooklyn Rd into dead-end streets.

CDC chief executive Geoff Hamilton said the proposal was news to him.

“As the chief executive, I was unaware until this morning of the intention to close Brooklyn Rd,” he said.

“I would like to see changes of this magnitude discussed with all councillors and senior council staff so we can keep our community informed.”

The announcement comes after KiwiRail’s proposal last week to close three other level crossings – at Victoria and Pembroke streets in Carterton and Judds Rd in Masterton.

After flyers proposing closures were delivered to residents of Victoria St, Pembroke St, and Judds Rd on May 10, The Times-Age asked KiwiRail how many Wairarapa crossings it planned on closing and what streets it had delivered flyers to.

KiwiRail said, as of May 11, it had no firm list of planned closures and had only delivered flyers to those three streets. Yesterday KiwiRail told CDC to tell the Times-Age that flyers were also delivered to Rhodes St and Brooklyn Rd residents.

Carterton deputy mayor Dale Williams said KiwiRail’s communication with the council has been patchy.

Williams said although it is good news that KiwiRail is preparing to increase rail capacity for Wairarapa Line, the community is frustrated by how the proposals are being shared and the overall lack of detail.

“KiwiRail has kept council and elected members informed to a degree, but there has been no consistency or clarity to the statements we have received,” he said.

A Kiwirail spokesperson said it plans to improve all 30 level crossings between Remutaka Tunnel and Masterton.

KiwiRail plans to close four out of 17 public level crossings in Carterton, the spokesperson said, adding that all four level crossings it proposes closing have viable alternative routes.

The other crossings will be upgraded to have automated barriers, flashing lights and bells, and various other roading upgrades.

The spokesperson said level crossings present a documented risk to pedestrians and vehicles, a risk that increases with faster and more frequent trains.

The government agreed to purchase 18 four-car trains for Wairarapa and Manawatu rail lines last month, meaning more trains and more frequent services when they are deployed in 2028.

KiwiRail and South Wairarapa District Council are in talks about level crossings in South Wairarapa. KiwiRail has scheduled three public meetings on its proposed crossing closures.

Judds Rd, Masterton proposal: Copthorne Hotel Solway Park, Friday, May 26 at 12.30pm.

Carterton proposals: Carterton Events Centre, Monday, May 29 at 12.30pm.

Carterton proposals: Carterton Events Centre, Wednesday, May 31 at 6.30pm.


  1. Following the recent Kiwirail proposal to possibly close Judds Rd. rail crossing I revisited the area. The Barracks development where we had a golf course now has about sixty new homes Considering each home will have about four residents and two to three vehicles apart from visitors the closure would mean all traffic including commercial and Showground traffic would need to clog SH2 and increase the traffic in all the surrounding streets to get to and from Ngaumatawa Rd, our main alternate route which is meant to reduce congestion and traveling times. This congestion will mean MORE traffic at ALL other rail crossings!! And on SH2 which is already compromised for capacity.
    Can someone please teach Kiwirail some maths?
    Heavy transport vehicles will have considerable difficulty joining SH2, and another roundabout is just not the answer.
    I presume MDC approved “The Barracks” development so let’s hear from you.
    With so called “improvements and safety concerns” we have massive congestion on all our roads, with alternative roads unable to cope. And the end result will be slower traffic and higher volumes and more logging trucks and higher repair bills?
    Let’s stand back and take another look and take charge of our own destiny. These departments are only here to “serve US,’ so why are we in an endless skirmish?
    The proposed totals for the road and rail and airport changes is astronomical.
    For rail we are told over $800,000,000.
    And yet we have nothing to show for it. I would like to see all this money directed to establishing businesses in The Wairarapa and stopping people having to travel to Wellington at all for work. Every hour used traveling is actually an hour lost and another cost to absorb. And time away from families which can’t be replaced. And we just wear out the machine we are traveling on and ourselves.
    Byron L Knight

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Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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