‘‘Milestone’’ upgrade for Kapiti train tunnels
The replacement of the last stretch of old overhead wire through the Kapiti Line tunnels south of Paekakariki over Easter was a major milestone, says Kiwirail infrastructure and engineering general manager Rick van Barneveld.
‘‘All the single tracked section of the line through the tunnels now has new overhead wire and associated equipment which means a more reliable service for commuters. A new and modern overhead line system means less disruption caused by line faults.’’
Kiwirail, and its main contractor Norfolk, have been working to upgrade the line over the last few months and have installed around 10 kilometres of new wire along with all the traction poles holding the wire up.
‘‘ Although new wire is something most people would not notice with the naked eye, these improvements will significantly increase the reliability of the line which improves our commuter service,’’ says Mr van Barneveld.
Once work on the single track section is complete, Kiwirail will turn its attention to renewing the double track section south of Paekakariki.
Over the past few months new traction poles and portals on this section have been installed and are now ready to receive new overhead wire.
‘‘The Kapiti Line is some of the most weather-exposed on the network . . . We have been working to replace aging infrastructure on the line which when completed will include a total of around 30kms of overhead wire and many poles that support these wires.’’
All the major works between Muri and Paekakariki are due to be completed in August this year.