Train stoppage causes chaos

A train stopped across a main road in Waikanae tonight, stranding some residents and causing delays for State Highway 1 traffic through the Kapiti Coast town.

Acting shift commander Bruce Mckay, of Police Central Communications, said the goods train came to a halt across Elizabeth St, just before 6pm.

The train had not broken down. Rather, it appeared the driver had gone past a signal without the proper authorisation to do so, he said.

According to KiwiRail protocol, the driver was required to shut down the train immediately and wait for a KiwiRail staff member to attend the scene and establish what happened.

''It's a delay and a hassle but there's a protocol,'' Mckay said.

''Police are at the scene but unfortunately it's case of having to hurry up and wait for someone from KiwiRail to get there.''

Mckay said the blocked rail crossing was near the intersection with SH1 and was causing delays for highway traffic.

People were also risking their safety by jumping across the train's couplings in order to reach the other side of Elizabeth St.

''People need to stay the heck off that train.''

No diversions were in place because there was no way of redistributing traffic, he said.

A KiwiRail spokesman said passengers on the train were transferred to buses for the remainder of their journey.

The train was cleared from the line by 7pm.

He could not provide any more details about the incident, other than to say that KiwiRail was investigating.