The 14-carriage Wairarapa service as it rounds a corner along the Wellington Harbour. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

It was a sight many Wairarapa commuters have probably only dreamed of – a 14-carriage train service rolling out of Masterton station on Tuesday morning.

The 5.46am service to Wellington was cancelled after a freight train became stuck on the track just south of Carterton, also causing significant delays to the 6.20am and 6.47am services.

A spokesperson for Transdev confirmed the 14-carriage service rolled out of Masterton at 7.30am with passenger carriages from two services being coupled together.

Featherston resident and rail commuter advocate Greg Kerr said he was one of those caught up in Tuesday morning’s delays.

He said the “timely manner” of the texts from Metlink about the delay enabled him to plan and contact his work to say he would be late.

“To be fair, in this instance it didn’t go too badly.”

Many commuters instead opted to drive, but Kerr said the replacement buses from Featherston, and delayed train service still managed to beat most of those by about 20 minutes.

While the 14-carriage-long train was only half full, running the extra carriages enabled the afternoon services on the Wairarapa line to go ahead as planned.

Earlier last month, Metlink introduced their longest passenger service on the network by almost 20 metres, with nine carriages providing an additional 64 seats.

The New Zealand Transport Agency announced $193 million in funding in November to improve the infrastructure and capacity on the region’s rail lines, including $96 million in track renewals largely on the Wairarapa line.