Power failure shuts down Wellington train services

17:14, Feb 16 2010

More than 400 people were left stranded for up to two hours on commuter trains in Wellington last night after a power failure shut down all services in the city.

Commuter train services are not expected to be restored until this morning.

Four trains, including one to Upper Hutt carrying 369 passengers, were stalled from 6pm while workers tried to restore electricity to the Wellington railyards after an overhead power failure, Tranz Metro spokesman Kevin Ramshaw said.

Passengers on the Upper Hutt service had to wait for between an hour-and-a-half and two hours until the train was shunted by desiel locomotive to Petone where it picked up overhead power and continued north.

Three trains coming from Paraparaumu, Melling and Upper Hutt were also stranded. One of the in-bound services stopped 30 metres short of the Wellington station and passengers were escorted by staff to the platform, while passengers on the remaining two in-bound trains were transported by bus and shuttle.

Buses were already scheduled to replace trains on the Upper Hutt and Johnsonville lines last night to allow for scheduled maintence work, Mr Ramshaw said.

Last night's delay follows Monday morning's two-hour delay which saw thousands of commuters disrupted.