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Off the rails

A man was arrested for walking through the Remutaka railway tunnel on Tuesday. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Disgruntled passenger causes lengthy delays

There was no light at the end of the Remutaka rail tunnel for a man arrested on Tuesday evening, after he walked 9km through the tunnel.

Police were called to the incident after a man was seen on the railway tracks near Harrison St West in Featherston at 5.35pm.

A police spokesperson said a 30-year-old man was arrested as he exited the tunnel on the Upper Hutt side shortly after 8.30pm.

A witness on the train said the man became aggressive on the train after he missed his stop in Upper Hutt.

He said the man started screaming and swearing at the two guards on the carriage, then ran and jumped on to the tracks once the train pulled into Featherston Station.

The police spokesperson said the man would face several charges due to the incident, including resisting police, disorderly behaviour, and trespass on railway infrastructure.

The man was due to appear in the Hutt Valley District Court on May 4.

The man’s trek disrupted train services with the tunnel closed for about 2½ hours, KiwiRail’s general manager operations Lower North Island Paul Ashton said.

The 6.18pm train from Upper Hutt to Masterton was turned back and replaced by a bus service.

KiwiRail would not confirm if the man was kicked off the train because the matter was before the courts. However, Ashton urged the public to stay out of the rail corridor.

“It is dangerous to walk on railway tracks or bridges or through tunnels,” he said.

“If a train comes along, there are no footpaths and often nowhere to go.”

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