Widespread train disruption is set to hit Wellington again this evening after 12 train operators called in sick today.
Ten services have been cancelled and four have been replaced by buses this evening, following on from disruptions on Friday afternoon at peak hour.
Staff shortages were also blamed for those disruptions, when 10 services were cancelled and six trains were replaced by buses.
Tranz Metro has indicated commuters will feel the effects of staff shortages on Wellington's rail network into the middle of next year.
The company needs about 92 drivers to be able to cover contingencies and would like 13 more staff on its roll.
This afternoon, a Tranz Metro spokeswoman said staff illness was the cause of today's disruption.
"We've had four train drivers call in sick today and eight train managers. It's a high number for us."
Train managers were needed to operate each train, along with a driver, she said.
Tranz Metro Manager Scott Brooks said in a written statement that the sick staff were due to work a shift that began this afternoon.
"We have no reason to think the staff illnesses are not genuine, and we have not requested medical certificates for one days' sick leave."
Tranz Metro had tried to reorganise this evening's peak services to ensure as little disruption to passengers as possible, with express services running all stops with increased capacity, including running an 8-car Matangi on the Upper Hutt line, Mr Brooks said.
Tranz Metro has issued apologies for the disruption today.
Wellington to Porirua
3.03pm, 4.21pm & 6.03pm
(The 4.15 & 6.00 Waikanae services will make all stops from Takapu road.)
Wellington to Upper Hutt
Wellington to Taita
3.50pm, 4.30pm, 4.50pm, 5.34pm, 5.50pm & 6.11pm
(There will be extra capacity for the 4.37pm service from Wellington to Upper Hutt and the 5.22pm service from Upper Hutt to Wellington. Services to Upper Hutt following those affected, will make all stops from Petone.)
SERVICES REPLACED BY BUSES
Wellington to Melling
3.25pm & 4.39pm
Melling to Wellington
3.49pm & 5.04pm
(Other Melling services will have extra capacity this evening.)
- © Fairfax NZ News
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