Rail seats back but some still standing

CALEB HARRIS
Last updated 05:00 06/02/2014
train
ANN RARDIN
Standing room only: The scene on the 4.22pm Wellington to Wairarapa train on Wednesday. Passenger Ann Rardin said: "As you can see, it is so crowded that people must stand in the toilets. They will be standing through to the stop in Featherston, a trip of 45 minutes. We have been told that earlier reports today to the press that full car service had been restored are erroneous."

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Commuters on Wairarapa trains have got their seats back, but it seems there are still not enough to go around.

An announcement on Tranz Metro's website said all Wairarapa line services were to return to full seating yesterday afternoon.

Disgruntled customers had been forced to stand for an hour or more when the number of carriages was reduced from Monday.

Tranz Metro discovered last week that a part which permits one type of carriage to be coupled to another type needed to be replaced.

While the company waited for the part to arrive from overseas, six-carriage trains were reduced to four on busy morning and evening commuter services, forcing many passengers to stand for the journey.

"They've fixed the problem but there were still people standing," said Carterton commuter Daryl Gawn, who runs the Wairarapa Commuters Facebook page.

Yesterday afternoon he was on the 4.25pm train, which was one of the services affected by the reduced seating.

It had returned to its full six carriages but even so there were not enough seats, Mr Gawn said.

A Tranz Metro representative said yesterday that while the company appreciated passengers' frustrations, the mechanical issue was unforeseen and it was only once the issue was diagnosed that it could order a replacement for it.

"We do apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused," Tranz Metro manager Scott Brooks said.

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- The Dominion Post

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