Waikanae Railway Station upgrade starts this month

LANDSCAPED: A new car park at the Waikanae Railway Station will be the first part of a planned upgrade.
LANDSCAPED: A new car park at the Waikanae Railway Station will be the first part of a planned upgrade.

The upgrade to Waikanae Station for new commuter trains expected to arrive next year will begin this month.

KiwiRail programme director David Gordon told the Waikanae Community Board meeting on Tuesday that upgrades to the station were expected to start on May 17.

The first part of the upgrade would be a new car park on Pehi Kupa St, he said.

Pohutakawa trees on the land would be cut down, and new landscaping with roses, kowhai trees and lancewood put in.

Mr Gordon also showed the board meeting planned upgrades to Elizabeth St, which included two left-hand lanes, turning right and left on to State Highway 1, a traffic island, and pedestrian access.

Most of the work on Elizabeth St would be done at night so as not to cause disruption, Mr Gordon said.

Trains would need to be stored in Waikanae, and to stop them getting vandalised, fences would need to be put up.

To stop Waikanae looking like a "fortress", trees would be planted along the fence line, with a wooden structure every 60 metres, which could be used for such things as murals, Mr Gordon said.

Double tracking to Waikanae was expected to be completed by Wellington Anniversary weekend next year, he said.

KiwiRail had planned to complete its $90 million project to double track and electrify the railway line to Waikanae late this year.

Commuter services would now not start until early next year, in order to take advantage of the quiet Christmas holiday period.

Kapiti Observer