More about WELL-TRACK

More about WELL-TRACK

WELL-TRACK involves: This website will include as much as possible of this output, and will evolve into a resource for the development of sustainable transport in Wellington.

A bit more detail
Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, has a well developed public transport system consisting of electric suburban train services, diesel commuter rail, electric trolleybuses, diesel bus services and a short funicular cable car line (for more information about Wellington's public transport services, click here) . The Wellington Region has a hilly terrain and only two major transport corridors feeding into a compact and confined city centre. For this reason, public transport usage is much higher in Wellington than in other New Zealand regions of similar size.
The rail system is recognised as the indispensible spine of the transit system. However, despite its importance to the City and Region, there has been little infrastructure investment and only one rollingstock upgrade for the rail system since 1960.

The geographic coverage of the rail network also falls short of what is needed. In Wellington City it stops short of the core of the central business district, forcing the maximum number of passengers to transfer to buses or walk a significant distance. Thousands do this, but thousands more don't bother, and drive instead. I am convinced that extending rail services through the CBD, using light rail, is the most important issue facing Wellington transport. Which is why light rail forms such an important part of WELL-TRACK.
The CBD of Hutt City, the second-largest city in the Region, is also not directly served by the rail network. There are proposals being floated for light rail through this as well, providing a direct centre-to-centre rail service between the two cities.

As well as rail upgrades, Wellington is about to renew its trolleybus fleet, using new locally-built low-floor vehicles and electrical control equipment. The traction motors and axles will be salvaged from the existing vehicles. The innovative work being done to renew the electric fleet will be helped by contact with the three largest North American trolleybus operators visited during WELL-TRACK.

As well as the issues above, Wellington needs to move forward in commuter rail, local rail freight, financing of transit expenditure, station design, passenger information systems, ticketing, etc - the items to be covered are discussed on the Topics page.

About me
  • Born Christchurch, New Zealand, 54 years ago
  • Member of the Tramway Historical Society (trolley museum group) since 1963
  • Standards and documentation manager in the electricity utility industry until 1998
  • Now self-employed, operating as TechMedia Services, a technical writing and documentation consultancy
  • Long-time rail and transit advocate
  • Co-ordinator, Transport 2000+ NZ - 'the national sustainable transport campaign'
  • Wellington representative, UITP Light Rail Conference, Melbourne, 2000
  • High-polling unsuccessful candidate (6th of 16), Wellington City Council elections, 2001
  • Public transport user, pedestrian and cyclist representative on the Wellington Regional Land Transport Committee (the strategic planning authority for transport in the Wellington Region).
  • Winston Churchill Fellow, 2003 (WELL-TRACK US transit study tour).