Bad Friday For Wellington Trains
Wellington rail commuters are in for a tough morning.
Due to slips, Fridays morning peak services on the Paraparaumu and Johnsonville lines are expected to be severely limited.
Early morning services are unlikely to run and delays are expected throughout the morning.
Commuters are being asked by Tranz Metro to please make alternate travel plans if at all possible.
Friday morning’s Capital Connection service will be replaced by buses between Palmerston North & Wellington.
The main trunk line just north of Wellington has been closed as workers try to clear a number of slips as well as clear the wreckage of the two Tranz Metro trains that collided this afternoon near Plimmerton.
5 people were taken to hospital after that crash, 2 with reported spinal injuries.
The north-bound passenger train heading to Paraparaumu hit a slip north of Plimmerton at 3.15pm today, causing it to derail.
It was carrying 40 passengers and three train staff.
Just afterwards, a south- bound train then collided with the cab of the derailed train. The derailed train had remained upright. Cranes have been brought in to lift them.
There were 14 passengers and three train staff on the south bound train. The drivers were shaken but not injured.
KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn said things happened very quickly and there was no time to communicate between drivers to advise of the train stopping because of the slip . He said if they had known, they would have immediately closed the track before other trains could arrive in the area.
He said there would be full investigations later on but the priority was the immediate issues.
Passengers had to be helped from the electric lines and have been sent by four-wheel drive vehicles to nearby Mana for treatment. Lines are also down.
Workers will be working through the night to clear the line.
There is also a slip on the Johnsonville line. There are were trains tonight and no bus replacements so people in rush hour had to find their own way home.
Slips are reported between 2 tunnels at Ngauranga.
Levels in the Hutt River are currently running very high and police had to put out an urgent warning to motorists with cars in the Riverside carpark that was about to go underwater.
Crash photos here