DomPost On Wellington’s Trains


Now it’s Wellington’s Dominion Post’s turn this morning to editorialise about that city’s train service.
And it does a fair summary of the rundown state of the capital’s Tranz Metro service that is finally nearing the end of its painful upgrade.
And it warns ..

The regional council has a big job in rebuilding public confidence in a network that fails its customers too often. Gradually introducing the Matangi trains is just one part of that task. More important still is making them run on time.

Wellington's rundown trains

It also laments how the service became so run down.

The Government’s $315m upgrade of Wellington’s ageing rail network is now in its final year. It was overdue and its delay, caused by a combination of under-investment and robber barons plundering owner-operator KiwiRail’s predecessors, has contributed to the big sums having to be plunged into the business via higher fares and taxes. The upgrade has also had to happen while the trains are still running, something Transport Minister Steven Joyce has compared to “trying to change a tyre while driving at 100kmh down the motorway”.
Despite commuters’ understandable frustration – even anger – many have doggedly stuck to rail travel, at the same time publicly denouncing its unreliability and its operators’ hopelessness at communication.

This is a much more helpful editorial than the Auckland Herald’s appalling crusade last week insisting Auckland does not need trains at all as we have buses.
Read today’s DomPost editorial here and Council Chair Fran Wilde’s op-ed piece on how this will be Wellington’s year for public transport.




  1. Matt says:

    Must be nice to live in a city where government money on network upgrades doesn’t get used as a political point. Shame Auckland’s not it. The sooner we get a proper Minister of Transport, the better.

  2. Ian says:

    Robber barons plundering… Yes those words certainly fit some of the past owners. Good on the DomPost for stating it so bluntly.

  3. James B says:

    If they get a CBD tunnel before we do I will scream!

  4. Anthony says:

    Well im not surprised. the patronage for the Service compared to its population size is high, this could mean that some of the editors commute on the PT systems also the dominion tells as it is. unlike the NZ hearld editors in which nearly all uses cars OR is forced to write something that involves calling SJ a “great” minister and what “fantastic” work he is doing.

  5. Andy says:

    “ageing rail network” I hate that expression. Every network is “ageing”, just say what you mean. Old or rundown!

  6. Luke says:

    the work in wellington is not really an upgrade of the network. Really just replacing old equipment in most places. On real project that increases capacity is getting one more line into Wgtn station and an extension to Waikanae of 7km.
    This upgrade will not lead to increased frequencies.
    There are several unfunded and uncomitted stages needed for this.

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