A million-dollar railway project is nearing an end in
Kiwirail is weeks away from completing a major refurbishment
of the Wingatui tunnel railway track.
The work involves replacing 705m of track and 1421 sleepers,
as well as re-ballasting and drainage improvements, in the
Three sets of 75m lengths of track were being assembled at
the old Wingatui yard to test the most suitable process to
replace the tunnel tracks, Kiwirail senior communications
adviser Sarah Pomeroy said last week.
''It is anticipated that over a three-day block of time in
mid-May all of the track sets will be built and installed,''
''The main body of work will take three to four days in May
and then there will be clean-up works, which will take a few
''The clean-up works will mainly be past the north portal of
the tunnel, but may also include some drainage works around
the southern portal and cabling works for signalling
The rail and sleepers on the line were regularly inspected
and the work part of a maintenance schedule.
''The rail and sleepers are being replaced because the rail
requires renewal,'' Ms Pomeroy said.
''In addition, it was decided to remove all of the old
sleepers with the rail. This also gives us the opportunity to
rebuild the bed to reduce future maintenance over the next
''We will also look into drainage designs, both inside and
outside the tunnel, and roof lining to reduce water seepage
and prolong the life of the track.''
Any disruption to local residents during the work would be
kept to a minimum, she said.
''There will be a certain degree of noise produced from the
works ... but we will attempt to mitigate this as much as
possible and keep our neighbours informed.
''Most of the heavy works will be either inside the tunnel,
or north of the tunnel, where there will be fewer people