More train delays tonight

JODY O'CALLAGHAN AND MATT STEWART
Last updated 18:13 19/03/2012
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There has been further disruption on the Wellington rail network tonight as a commuter train bound for Upper Hutt was delayed at Ngauranga.

The incident followed significant delays on all lines this morning following a technical hitch.

The 4.37pm train from Wellington was delayed for at least 20 minutes and further delays on the Hutt line may continue tonight.

Tranz Metro spokeswoman Sophie Lee said an operational incident caused this morning's delays and said details from an investigation would be released tomorrow.

She said the incident did not appear to be driver error or that the train had run a red light, which is known as a ''signal passed at danger".

The incident prompted a required alert to the Traffic Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC).

TAIC spokesman Peter Northcote said the commission did not think the incident warranted further investigation.

Services were running about 15 minutes to 20 minutes behind but trains were back on schedule by 9.30am.

The commission had received a report saying a stationary train had been ''recovering from a minor technical issue'' at a point where there was a green light.

He said just as the train was ready to move off the light went red and crossed the circuit from one control zone to the next, triggering the alert.

Although the error had created inconvenience for rail passengers he said it demonstrated the rail safety system had worked.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary Wayne Butson said the union was aware of the incident but said it was ''far too early to jump to assumptions'' pending the outcome of the investigation.

Tranz Metro issued 11 delay alerts this morning.

The delays come on the day when new Matangi trains replaced the old English electric trains on the Johnsonville line.

The first Matangi service ran from Wellington at 11.02am today.

An earlier version of this story had the incorrect spelling of Matangi.

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