Plimmerton Station, north of Wellington, is surrounded by beaches, roads and suburban homes. Just over 2000 people live nearby, many of whom commute via rail to Porirua or Wellington on a daily basis. This number is forecast to increase significantly over the next 10 years.
Upgrading the station so more passenger trains can run between Porirua and Plimmerton is a key goal for KiwiRail, and Vitruvius has worked alongside them for over two years to assess requirements and options, complete concept and detailed design, obtain consents and support the procurement and construction phases.
The complete project scope involves building nine new turnouts at Plimmerton Station, a new platform/shelters, extending the pedestrian underpass, installing five new gated pedestrian crossings, plus all associated overhead line equipment (OLE), signaling and drainage
This is a significant project for our team and one of the largest we’ve ever been involved in. The project is a complex one, and because it involves the North Island’s Main Trunk line (NIMT), most physical work can only be carried out over long weekends/public holidays and quiet periods such as Christmas/New Year when passenger trains aren’t running and freight services are reduced to the absolute minimum. Detailed planning to maximise the work completed during these times has therefore been essential.
Since completing the design, Downer has been appointed as the principal contractor for the physical works whilst Vitruvius is now undertaking the role of the engineer’s representative, effectively acting as conduit between Downer and KiwiRail over the two-and-a-half year construction period. Vitruvius will also provide design support throughout the construction phase for any unforeseen issues that arise on site. The extensive knowledge and solution driven approach Vitruvius hold will offer both Downer and KiwiRail the fastest and most effective way of solving problems during the build phase.
“Entering the construction phase late in 2021 was a major milestone for KiwiRail and Vitruvius as we have been at the heart of the project since the early feasibility stage,” explains Major Projects Team Leader Simon Cave. “Most of our Wellington office and about half of the Tauranga office has been involved at some point. It’s been incredibly exciting to be in the construction phase and see our design and hard work take shape. “We had a significant ‘wheels free’ period over the 2021/2022 Christmas period, with no trains running. That period involved the underpass extension, re-surfacing the existing platform, installation of a new concrete level crossing and the installation of a new rail cross-over. The project team consisted of around 100 committed individuals working around the clock throughout the Christmas block, with all planned work being completed safely and on time. A huge achievement.”
“We want to build a legacy not only for a modern transport experience, but also set a new standard as to how rail teams can work together.”