Fran Wilde, Chair of the Regional Council, today applauded KiwiRail staff and contractors for the enormous effort to get the railway line between Petone and Wellington up and running in such a short time.
"A huge thank you to KiwiRail staff and the work crews for pulling out all stops to get this severely damaged line back in business so soon. Given the horrendous damage Thursday night's storm caused to the line, it could have been long fix but with people working 12-hour shifts to fix the sea wall and the track it has been relatively speedy.
Also I would like to thank KiwiRail staff who organised, managed and communicated the bus replacements on the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa Lines. Given that most buses in the region are already fully utilised for the peak periods, it could have been utter chaos but reports are that it worked pretty smoothly, which is a credit to all those involved."
Fran Wilde also thanked the thousands of commuters affected by the damage to the line. "Having to get a train so far and then wait with hundreds of others for a bus is not ideal but the vast majority of people did this patiently and without complaining. People seemed to understand that this really was an 'act of god' and everyone affected just had to cope with the different circumstances until the line was fixed.
"I'm sure thousands of Wellingtonians have a new found appreciation for the vital contribution that our rail services make to keep the Wellington region on the move.
"Thanks, too, to the everyday motoring commuters whose travel was disrupted by a major influx of extra vehicles on the road. I'm sure they have a keen sense of the importance of trains to Wellington! And a big shout out to those who carpooled this week – I hope this taster will turn into a longer-term habit."