Building a better rail network for the Wellington region

FutureRailLogoWith more than 14 million passenger journeys a year on the Wellington Rail Network, while the rail network is well maintained some parts of it are wearing out and need to be replaced. KiwiRail and Metlink are working together to upgrade the rail network to makes services more reliable and enable more people to travel on trains in the future, with funding provided by the New Zealand Government. 

Future Rail, also known as the Wellington Metro Upgrade (external link) , is a collection of projects which will deliver a service with fewer speed restrictions and outages, longer trains and more services for our Metlink commuters. Improving the network is an ongoing project with currently funded works will be delivered until 2026. 

Future Rail projects can be divided into two main areas:

1. Renewing existing infrastructure so services run as smoothly as possible:

  • Replacing and modernising the overhead power system and signals power supply
  • Renewing the track, across the network including inside the four major tunnels

2. Adding capacity so more people can travel on trains in the future while still allowing for freight services:

  • Double tracking between Trentham and Upper Hutt
  • Improvements to Wellington Railway Station approaches and changes at Plimmerton

Keep an eye out for the project symbol to see the upgrade work underway in your area.

For more detail on the Future Rail project, visit the KiwiRail website (external link)

Works are spread across the wider Wellington region

Much of our current work is on the Hutt Line. Our work will allow more frequent and reliable train services.

These works include:

  • Double tracking between Trentham and Upper Hutt – improving reliability and frequency of train services
  • Replacing overhead power system – improving service reliability
  • New power supply for signals – improving service reliability

This work will be carried out at several locations along the line and will include:

  • Renewing tracks - Remutuka tunnels and along 60 km between Upper Hutt and Masterton
  • Renewing three bridges
  • Renewing signalling between Upper Hutt and Featherston

Future works planned on this line will include:

  • Changes at Plimmerton Station to make this a terminus station
  • Replacing old track inside the tunnels along the line and stabilising slopes

We're now working on the Johnsonville line:

  • Renewing traction power overhead line systems
  • Renewing sleepers within all seven tunnels
  • Slope stability improvement Ngaio Gorge

The work to manage future demand on the network at the station is important as peak period patronage is forecast to keep growing. Our activities will see us:

  • Improving Station approaches to increase capacity
  • Renewing traction power overhead line systems

What does this mean for me?

With most of the rail lines being used almost 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we’re working with KiwiRail to balance keeping the trains running while planning access to the tracks for upgrade work at quieter times. Some work can only be done when there are no trains on the track, so we’ll provide buses to replace trains to ensure you can still get to where you’re needing to go.

Know before you go by signing up to My Metlink or see the posters at your local station for upcoming track work, project updates and buses replacing trains timetables.

You deserve a reliable network and we’re working hard to make that happen as we continue to refine and improve the network based on your feedback and our research.

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