Wellington’s rail network going from strength to strength - December 2014

Wellington region’s rail network is going from strength to strength with punctuality figures approaching record highs and growing numbers of people taking the train, as shown in the Wellington Metropolitan Rail Annual Report.

The report, to be tabled at next Wednesday’s Regional Council meeting, shows that almost 95% of trains arrived within five minutes of their scheduled time. 

“Services are reliable and punctual and as a result more and more people are choosing to take the train and the trends are certainly continuing this financial year, says Paul Swain, the Regional Council’s Public Transport portfolio leader.  For example, passenger numbers across the region have increased by over 8% from July - October, compared to the same period last year.  We are fast approaching historic all-time highs in annual patronage.”

The report shows that 11.6 million train trips were made last year up from 11.4m the previous year. “This amounts to every person in the Wellington region making 23.5 trips – a very high per capita figure compared to other cities here and in Australia,” says Mr Swain.

“This last year has been a very good one for Wellington region’s rail network – the huge investment by the Regional Council, the NZ Transport Agency and central government in Wellington’s rail network over the last five to six years is paying off,” says Paul Swain, the Regional Council’s Public Transport portfolio leader.

“The Matangi trains have transformed rail travel in Wellington: they’re modern, comfortable, smooth trains with a truly metropolitan feel.  The major upgrades on the network itself and the continuing renewal work have vastly improved the reliability of the system. Our stations and park and ride facilities are being managed very well by Council staff – a highlight was the opening of the Rail CCTV Monitoring Centre in March to help make stations safer and reduce vandalism.    All of this adds up to a great customer experience – more people are choosing to leave the car at home, or at the station, and take the train. And that means less congestion on our busy roads and less traffic pollution in the environment.

“We want to see even more people switching to the train in the next few years and the next fleet of Matangi trains, due to begin arriving from the middle of next year, will provide the capacity for passenger numbers to grow.  These are good times for rail in the region.”

To view the 2014 Metropolitan Rail Annual Report:  www.gw.govt.nz/committee-meetings-calendar/detail/7221(external link)