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Please don’t panic, but ‘the roof has fallen in’

Jan 31st, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

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COMMUTERS ON the 7:34am train from Waikanae had a moment of alarm when they were stranded outside a tunnel because “the roof has fallen in” – but it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.

All services on the Kapiti Line were suspended earlier today due to overhead problems in Tunnel 2, one of the main tunnels linking the line to Wellington City.

“‘Part of the roof has fallen in’ – those were [the conductor’s] first words,” says Jim Tucker, who caught the train from Paekakariki.

“And of course everyone thought, ‘Oh my god, the train roof?’”

But the conductor explained the issue was relatively minor: “Some part of the roof in the tunnel had come away and was touching the overhead wires, and he didn’t know how long we’d be there.”

Mr Tucker says the passengers were kept well informed of the situation and were offered the choice of a bus service into Wellington.

“But I’m intrigued to know what it was in the tunnel that came away.”

A KiwiRail spokesperson told NewsWire a small piece of tunnel lining had come loose from general wear and tear.

Services were suspended for 40 to 50 minutes so they could investigate for further damages.

They were concerned the loose piece could get stuck and pull down more parts of the roof if trains were allowed to pass through the tunnel.

KiwiRail says the floor of Tunnel 2 was upgraded over Christmas, and the walls and roof are due to be upgraded in the next couple of months.

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