Cr Compton Says National’s On The Right Track With Rail Plans

Kāpiti Coast Councillor Gwynn Compton says National’s announcement they will fund the electrification and double tracking of the Wellington commuter rail network to Ōtaki is good news for the District.

Cr Compton, almost a lone figure among the serried ranks of Labour supporters on the KCDC, modestly says the news is a big win for the Kāpiti-Horowhenua Commuter Rail Campaign he launched in March.

He says: “t’s a big win to have the National Party commit to funding phase two of that plan to double track and electrify the rail network between Waikanae and Ōtaki without needing the interim step of hybrid trains.

1,600 signed petition

“It’s also a big win for the more than 1,600 people who signed my petition to extend commuter rail services to Ōtaki during last year’s local authority election campaign.

“We’re in exciting territory with the National Party having announced a significant increase in the reach of commuter rail and the Green Party having outlined an ambitious vision for rapid-intercity commuter rail services.

“The challenge now is for the Labour Party and New Zealand First to get onboard and reveal their plans on how they’re going to help Kāpiti and Horowhenua get back on track,” he says.

Roads…and a bit of rail thrown in’

Yesterday National announced an about-$1.1 billion transport package for north of Wellington, running through the Kāpiti Coast and Horowhenua.

Stuff described it as ‘a mix of more roads, better roads – and a bit of rail thrown in for good measure.’

National pledges, if elected, to fast track an about-$817 million expressway from Ōtaki through Horowhenua.

It would build an about-$30m full interchange at the Peka Peka end of the Kāpiti Expressway — and would extend the Kāpiti Line rail service by electrifying and double-tracking to Ōtaki, at an estimated cost of about $300m.

Editor’s note: Mr compton was foremrly a Senior Advisor, Social Media, in the office of Prime Minister John Key.

Taking commuter trains beyond Waikanae extends the journey time beyond 60 minutes so will need new trains with toilets. Bi-mode trains for the longer distance is a much more sensible and flexible solution.

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