Wellington Junction - Up Trains 2001

The New Zealand railway system uses speed signalling. However in some situations the signals effectively provide route indications. One example was Up trains at Wellington Junction (also known as Distant Junction) prior to the installation of the third track in 2009/2010. This page describes the signalling of up trains through the junction in 2001. The signalling of down trains at Wellington Junction more closely followed speed signalling conventions and is described on my Wellington Junction Down page.

In 2009/10 the junction was rearranged with the addition of a third track.


On the Up Main a notice board defines the correspondance between the "speed" shown by the Advanced Starter 8L and the route set at the junction. In advance of this notice a speed board authorises 50km/h through the junction, instead of the 25km/h specified in the rule book. The S & I diagram shows Tawa as the through route which is consistant with the signalling - Normal Speed to Tawa. However, the physical layout is the opposite - Tawa is the diverging route.

Trains departing from the yard receive a medium speed on 12L for either route; a theatre indicator displays the route set.


Approach Signal Signal A8L Up Main Advanced Starting Approach is showing yellow/green - Caution Normal Speed. Prepare to reduce to Medium speed.

In the 1988 Rule Book this means:

Section is clear. Proceed at Normal speed but prepared to reduce to Medium speed at next signal which is at "Caution" or "Clear" for Medium speed only.

At Wellington Junction the signalling is easier to interpret if it is considered route signalling. The route is defined by a notice board in advance of A8L. (In this case the route is set for the Hutt line.

From the left, Passenger Depot, Johnsonville Line, Up Main, Down Main.

Route Conventions

The sign changes the convention on the Up main from speed to route signalling.

  • NS - Normal Speed; route is set for Tawa (NIMT) which is the diverging route.
  • MS - Medium Speed; route is set for the Hutt Line which is the straight through route.

On the left the Johnsonville Line climbs out of the yard.

Speed Board And Advanced Starter

Sign authorising 50km/h through the junction, rather than the 25km/h specified for Medium Speed in the rule book.

In advance is signal 8L Up Advanced Starting which is showing red/green - Proceed at Medium Speed

The speed board and the route board in the rear have changed the meaning of 8L to Junction set for Hutt line - 50km/h authorised.

The Aotea Quay overbridge is in the background.

Wellington Junction - Up Trains

The points are set for the Hutt line on the left.

The conventions used at this junction are:

  • Maximum speed for all trains is 50km/h.
  • Normal Speed indication means that the diverging route to Tawa is set.
  • Medium Speed indication means that the straight through route to the Hutt Line is set.

The S&I circular shows Tawa as the normal route (which is consistant with the signalling) but is drawn in such a way that suggests that Tawa is the straight through route.

Resume Normal Speed

The train has passed through the junction and the speed board indicates that normal speed can be resumed. This means that the train must not exceed the maximum speed laid down for the locality. In this case it is 70km/h for the curve.

Last Updated: Sun Feb 7 15:48:57 NZDT 2010

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