Wrong Line Running

On Sunday 25th May 2003 there was a Block of Line between Woburn and Wellington Junction for the removal of Fletcher Siding at Ava and other maintenance work. EMUs were cancelled between Waterloo and Wellington and replaced by buses. Train 1613, the 8am Masterton - Wellington passenger ran wrong line between Woburn and Wellington.

Wrong Line running between Woburn and Wellington Junction was authorised by a Mis. 60 Track & Time Permit, between the Junction and near A-Box by the verbal authority of the Signalman and thence to Platform 3 by fixed signals.

The traditional method of single-line running in double track areas was Pilot working, which is now out of use.

This page describes the wrong line running.

Wrong Line Running

Excerpt is from the 1988 Double Line Automatic Signalling Regulations.

Conditional Stop Protection was in place on Sunday 25th May 2003 between 0700 - 1800 on both Up and Down Mains between Woburn and Wellington Junction. Work included destressing (Ava), turnout removal (Fletcher Siding) and Traction Maintenance (Petone). Overhead power was off between Kaiwharawhara substation and isolators 82 & 83 (south of Woburn).

Automatic signalling. Woburn was staffed from 0615 to 1800. Down trains were not permitted to pass 68 Down Starting from Down Main until authorised by Signalperson/Train Control.       (continued.....)

(continued.....)   Petone was switched out. Down trains were not permitted to pass No. 73 Shunt from Up Main and No. 68 Shunt and Down Starting from Up Main signals until authorised by Train Control.

EMUs were cancelled between Waterloo & Wellington. They reversed at 36 points at the south end of Woburn. The Woburn north end points (45), which the EMUs would normally use, are bolted and padlocked out of use.

EMUs were not permitted to pass signal 6 Up Home From Up Main.

1613 ran wrong line on the Up Main from 6 signal to 8RB (Wellingtion Junction) under Mis. 60 authority. From 8RB to shunt signal 62 the signalperson A-Box gave verbal authority. From signal 62, 1613 was authorised by fixed signals.

1613 stopped at each of the four shunt and one running signals displaying Stop and the LE obtained permission to proceed. At No.73 and No. 68 Control advised that the Signal Maintainer had confirmed that the points were correctly set and locked.


On Sunday 25th May I was in possession of a Cab Pass and travelled from Upper Hutt to Wellington on 1613 and then back to Waterloo on 1614. The following photographs, which record the wrong line running of 1613, were taken on that journey. I may add a few photographs taken from 1614 when the film has been developed.

Click on an thumbnail for a full size image.....

Waterloo Station. 1613 approaches the down platform while an EMU, which has reversed at Woburn, waits at the Up platform for its 9 27am departure. One of the "Rail Replacement" buses is on the left. The platforms at Waterloo are offset.

Conditional Stop Advance Warning boards just south of Waterloo.

74 Down Directing (Woburn) is at Caution as the signal in advance, 68, is at Stop. When Waterloo - Wellington trains are cancelled EMUs usually reverse at this cross-over (45). However, the points are currently bolted and locked.

68 Down Starting From Down Main (Woburn). The authority of the Signalperson/Train Control is required to pass this signal. The Mis. 60 was issued here. From left - Loop, Down Main, Up Main. The shadow of the pedestrian overbridge is visible.

Mis. 60 The Mis. 60 was issued while 1613 was stopped at signal 68. Both the LE and the TSO read the Mis. 60 back to control before it became active. Permission to pass the Conditional Stop boards was also obtained while stopped here.

36 Crossover. 1613 has passed signal 68 at Stop (at 9 30 am) and is approaching 36 crossover and the Whites Line East overbridge. The points have been hand wound and are set reverse. This is where the EMUs reversed.

Wrong Line. 1613 is running wrong line on the Up Main. The Conditional Stop boards can be seen on the other side of the Randwick Road overbridge.

Conditional Stop boards. 1613 approaches the Conditional Stop boards. Permission had previously been given to pass these boards so 1613 passed them without stopping.

Hi-Rail Vehicle on the Down Main near the Hutt River bridge. The gang are destressing the track. The new fence on the left had a hole cut in it very soon after it was built. Note the tie rail - they are no longer very common in the Hutt Valley.

Ava Station. Approaching Ava Station. The boys on the bridge seemed intrigued by the wrong line running.

Fletcher Siding. The Down Main is obstructed near Fletcher Siding, which is being removed. The 12km peg is opposite the small brick building on the right.

Mainline Turnout. Getting ready to remove the Fletcher Siding mainline turnout. Note the trackset from the siding which has been placed on the Down Main.

Earth Strap. An earth strap connects the overhead to the rail on the Down Main. 1613 is passing the Melling Substation (out of sight to the right). On the far right is the Melling Branch.

Hutt Valley Junction. 1613 has just passed over the Melling Junction points and is approaching 48 crossover. This crossover is used by down Melling EMUs to cross from the Up to the Down Main.

Lonely Shunt Signal 73. In accordance with instructions in the Bulletin, 1613 stopped and the LE obtained authority to pass signal 73. There was once a crossover here giving access to the old Petone Yard (right, beyond the Korokoro bridge).

Overhead Maintenance. An overhead maintenance gang opposite the rowing club, just south of Petone. SH 2 is on the right.

Intermediate Signal 673 is the Ngauranga distant. Wellington Harbour is on the left and SH 2 (the Hutt Road) is on the right.

Ngauranga. Site of the old Ngauranga Yard on the right. 1613 is approaching shunt signal 4R, which was passed at Stop on the authority of the Signalperson A-Box.

Ngauranga Station. Ngauranga Gorge overbridge on the right.

12R Down Starting From Up Main. From left- the overhead is for the Down Main, Up Main Loop (lifted). The Up Main is signalled for both way working through Ngauranga, which is controlled from A-Box. 12R was passed at Stop.

Motorway Overbridge. 1613 on the Up Main is about to pass under the SH1/SH2 overbridge. The intermediate signal on the Down Main (left) is number 411, so we are approximately 4.1km from Wellington.

Approaching Wellington Junction. An EMU on the Down NIMT passes 1613. Both are approaching Wellington Junction. From the right - Up Hutt, Up NIMT, Down NIMT and Down Hutt.

End Of Mis. 60 Authority. 1613 approaches shunt signal 8RB. The authority of the Signalperson A-Box is required to pass 8RB at Stop. Ahead is the junction of the Up NIMT (left) and Up Hutt (right) lines. The two Down lines are on the left.

Hutt/NIMT Junction. Running the wrong way through the junction of the Up Hutt and Up NIMT lines on the verbal authority of the signalperson. The "Express Slow 20" board applies to freight trains on the Down NIMT which will be entering the yard.

9 Crossover set for 1613 to continue to Wellington Station on the Up Main. The LE contacted A-Box and confirmed that that 1613 was to remain on the wrong line. This is the crossover used by trains leaving the freight yard. From the left - E5, Down Main and Up Main.

Down Home Signals 39 (Down Main, left) and 38 (Johnsonville, right). Neither signal applies to 1613 which is on the Up Main.

Shunt Signal 62 displays Green. 1613 is now signalled by colour lights for the short run past A-Box to platform 3. A-Box is on the left.

47 Up Directing displays Red/Yellow ( yellow not visible). The route is set to platform 3, where we arrived at 10 01 am. On the left a track gang is at work.

Last Updated: Wed 8 May 2013

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