New era for Johnsonville train travellers
Passengers travelling to and from Johnsonville will today make their journeys on the first new trains on the Line in 60 years.
Peter Glensor, chair of Greater Wellington’s Economic Wellbeing Committee, which oversees public transport, says from late this morning every train to and from Johnsonville will be a new Matangi train.
“These are the first new trains on the Johnsonville Line in more than 60 years, so it’s a significant milestone for the region’s rail network.”
“Johnsonville rail commuters have been waiting a long time for these new trains, and while it is both a happy and sad moment to see the English Electrics retired from service on the Johnsonville line, we have had our challenges in keeping them running,” says KiwiRail’s General Manager of Passenger Services, Deborah Hume.
“Having Matangi now operating all services on the Johnsonville line is a much anticipated improvement to Tranz Metro’s reliability and capacity on this line. I would like to acknowledge the patience of Johnsonville customers, and am very pleased to be able to be able to offer passengers a more efficient, comfortable and reliable service,” Ms Hume says.
The last English Electric services will run to Johnsonville at 10.32am and from Johnsonville at 11am.
“Johnsonville commuters travelling home today will enter a new era of train travel. We’re getting very positive feedback about the new trains. They feel modern and spacious, they’re air-conditioned, and the public address systems are top quality.
Peter Glensor says passengers on the Johnsonville Line will be able to take cycles on the new trains at any time – peak hour and non-peak hour. “Passengers cannot take their cycles on Matangi trains on the other lines (Upper Hutt and Kapiti) during peak times because they take up seating space which is in high demand. However, peak hour passengers numbers are lower on the Johnsonville Line so we’re trialling this change in the cycles on trains policy. It will be reviewed in a few months’ time.”
A of work has been done on the line to accommodate the bigger, modern trains. This work, which was led by KiwiRail and cost $17m, included:
“The line is also very steep, rising to 150 metres above sea level, which was one of the many challenges we had to meet with the design of the new trains. And we’re delighted that they’ve passed all the Johnsonville tests with flying colours.
More than half of the new Matangi fleet, 28 out of 48 trains, has been approved for service. Almost 75 percent of the fleet has been delivered to Wellington. All the trains are expected to be in Wellington within the next six months and in service before the end of the year.
For more information, please contact
Peter Glensor, Greater Wellington, 027 241 5152
Sophie Lee, KiwiRail, 04 498 3181 027 435 9464
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