$3.5m for new Upper Hutt train station

COLIN WILLIAMS
Last updated 10:30 20/08/2014
Upper Hutt train station

FLASH TRAVEL: An artist's impression of the new Upper Hutt train terminus.

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A new Upper Hutt railway station will open early in 2016 and cost $3.5 million.

Designs for a rebuild on the site of the existing station were released to the Leader this week by Wellington Regional Council public transport portfolio leader Paul Swain and Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy.

It will be funded by the Upper Hutt and Regional councils and the New Zealand Transport Agency but was made possible by a $1m contribution from Upper Hutt, Swain said.

"It's a fresh start and a day that cannot come soon enough".

It would not have happened without this partnership approach, Swain said.

"They were very clear they [had] offered this contribution on a use-it-or-lose-it basis and that focussed the minds of the regional council," Swain said.

"Without that [money] the station upgrade could well have continued to sit on the back-burner for years," Guppy said.

"We are really excited about these draft plans.

"This will provide a modern look for Upper Hutt, a much- needed face lift for the centre of town and bring a sense of pride and place to the community," he said.

The building will sit on the site of the 1955 station which has been in dilapidated condition and has functioned poorly for years.

Among the design features are a naturally-lit 30-seat waiting room with a kiosk, ticket office, weather protection for bus users on the city frontage, public toilets, improved lighting and security cameras.

Facilities for 30 train and bus staff who begin and finish work at the station daily are also included.

Greater Wellington chairwoman Fran Wilde said the development will deliver a proper transport hub for Upper Hutt.

The middle area of the existing station houses a signalling area which cannot be relocated.

A refurbishment was looked at, Wilde said.

"Quantity surveyors told us it wouldn't be commercially viable to refurbish and may be more expensive trying to alter and extend certain sections of the existing facility than it would be to demolish and completely rebuild," she said.

Regional council assets adviser Richard Noakes said a contract for the project will be let before Christmas with a year's construction set to start in February.

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