from KC News

Are these the queues awaiting Kapiti commuters?

A KiwiRail equipment failure in Auckland is forcing Metlink to run fewer passenger rail services across the Wellington region during May.

KiwiRail’s one-and-only specialist rail track evaluation car, which measures tracks so trains can operate safely, is broken and inspections due on the Kāpiti, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa lines are overdue – making them non-compliant. Without compliance, KiwiRail has introduced temporary speed restrictions. Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter says KiwiRail’s safety equipment failure shows an abysmal lack of accountability and management. “To be clear, this is a monumental failure by KiwiRail. The poor maintenance of this essential piece of equipment is holding the entire North Island’s rail network hostage. If ever there was a perfect example of a lack of prudent management and accountability for critical rail infrastructure in this country, here is exhibit A.”

The culprit — a 4-decades-old self-propelled track evaluation vehicle overdue for replacement. (Alan Wickens pic)