Auckland Reader Samples Wellington Trains - His Story, Photos


This from Auckland reader James, who took a train trip in Wellington. Thanks for sharing that James. It sounds like you had an interesting time and to confirm that in a week of delays, not all the news from Wellington trains is bad!.


I flew to Wellington and travelled to a friend’s bach at Raumati on the train from there.

First was a trip on the airport “Flyer” bus with leather seats, WiFi, intercom warnings for upcoming stops and a first look for this Aucklander at a snapper reader in action with its warnings to remember to tag off at the end and all.

The flyer goes every 15mins from the airport through Hataitai, Courtenay Place, past Wellington Station and onwards to the Hutt Valley.

My only disappointment with the Flyer is that because of all the intermediate stops, its progress is slowed down somewhat with lots of people getting on and off the bus that seemed like an “Airport Express” type arrangement to a newbie arriving at the airport, plus the trip through Cuba st and Courtenay Place is just slow all around.

Despite that we reached the station easily and in pretty good time.

Wellington Station was bustling on a Friday night with Phoenix fans pouring in from all directions, trains included and moving along the platforms to the stadium.

The only electronic signs indicating platform numbers and destinations are the ones above the platforms and it turned out that the one I was looking for (number eight) was out of order, I eventually spotted a 17″ monitor in the Customer Service area (closed by this time) showing the info I was after.

On the train at minus 5min and its starting to fill up they’re very quiet when they’re not running these electrics! By that time there were about 60people (very rough guess) in the carriage when a passenger nearby asked “Is this the 7:00 o’clock for Paraparaumu?” - “I hope so” I responded, apparently I was the third person to say that.

The train didn’t depart on time unfortunately and at about plus 10min a guard moved through the train saying “

We’re a bit late leaving, just waiting for a driver. Its been a problem all day.”

Lots of commuters whipped out their mobiles to delay the arrival of their family members ready to pick them up from northern stations. One lady nearby said on her phone “Can you believe it. I’m on a train without a driver. Absolutely hopeless.” We eventually departed at 7:13pm.

There were signs saying station maintained by so-and-so cleaning ltd (or whatever they were called). Advertising facing the train on the sides of buildings etc. Very helpful staff. At the ticket window I asked for Paraparaumu and was offered a weekender ticket that actually saved me money and would’ve let me ride the trains without buying more tickets through the weekend had that been something I’d planned on.

Electric trains are fast. They’ll make such a difference here in Auckland with double-tracking, new signalling, new/refurbished stations.

I was fairly surprised that the train didn’t have Electronic Signs warning which station is next as some of the trains in Auckland do.

Cheers Wellington so many of you obviously use the trains there and are just getting on with it. I’m sure the new ones arriving soon will make a big improvement there too.




  1. Jim C says:

    I often use the trains when I’m in Wellington. They have two rover tickets. There is a day rover $10.00 which allows to travel all day on trains and,as James said, the weekend rover $15.00 which is available from 1st train Friday morning till last train Sunday night. For visitors a really good way to travel especially if they buy a snapper card (for buses) as well. Tranz Metro also have a sms for delays in trains or buses replacing trains.etc. For a service that has been running since the 30′s they are not too bad.
    I would say the new Matangi Units will have next station indicators in them.

  2. Simon says:

    Yeah, I don`t think they`re worring about pids in the old trains since the new Matangi units will be progressively replacing them over the next 2 years or so.

  3. Brent C says:

    I catch the Paraparaumu train and rate it as the best train commute in New Zealand.

    Occasionally the SX (former Oitria electrics) runs, which provides information on station location. I hope when they do the Gravs up, they will have this installed. Without them, people ask questions and it gets people in the train talking to each other.

  4. Grant says:

    Just a note to add to Jim C’s comments re rovers. There is also the Metlink explorer ticket, which is perhaps better than the weekend rover for visitors. Costs $18.00 for a day and is valid from 9.00am M-F, all day at weekends/holidays. This is valid on all Tranz Metro services withn the electrified area, and all Go Wellington, Valley Flyer, Newlands and Mana bus services, excluding the Airport Flyer north as far as Upper Hutt and Waikane.

    And to Brent C, the SE cars (the only SX set lives in Auckland) hauled by the EO’s run four services per weekday and are fairly predictable. The runs are 0704 UH to Wgtn, 0810 Wgtn, non-stop to Plimmerton, 0841 Plimmerton to Wellington and 1712 Wgtn to Upper Hutt Express. The train stables in the car yard under the motorway during weekdays and at Upper Hutt overnight and weekends. The set is being used as a test bed for some of the features wanted in the Matangis and Ganz upgrades.


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