Format Of Hutt Valley Public Timetables

The format af Hutt Valley public timetables is described.

Before 1953

I have not yet done much research on pre-1953 timetables. The few examples I have are in card format and list the times at which trains leave key stations. It may be that these are pocket versions of full timetables but I do not know if this is the case. Suburban timetables were included in the national public timetables. The only example I have is for 1926-1927 which just pre-dates the opening of the branch to Waterloo.

(Above) Card timetables from the 1940s. (Below) Excerpt from the 1926-27 Public timetable.

1953 Timetable

The October 1953 public timetable, which was distributed To The Householder on the opening of the electrification to Taita, set the format for the next thirty years or so. The 1953 timetable covers just Hutt Valley services, although later versions in this format included all Wellington suburban services. Of particular interest is that in 1953 Upper Hutt trains are still using the Lower Hutt route. Bus times are included in the timetable. Distances and heights above sea level are included.

Condensed March 1954

On 1 March 1954 the third stage of the Hutt Valley electrification scheme came into use. All Upper Hutt trains were diverted via Taita. A folder was distributed To The Householder providing a condensed summary of services between Wellington, Taita, Melling and Upper Hutt.

1980 Timetable

The 1980 public timetable is a thirty page booklet, slightly larger than A5 size (Foolscap 4to is the closest imperial size I could find). The cover is coloured with a photograph. This timetable contains details for all Wellington suburban lines and also bus schedules. At the top of the columns for Hutt Valley trains are codes which define bus connections at the various stations with trains from Wellington. The timetable has a conventional layout, with stations listed in the left hand column. A detailed schematic of the Wellington electrified suburban system is included. Distances and heights above sea level have been removed by the 1980 issue.

1986 Timetable

The 1986 public timetable is a four page A4 document. Times for only Hutt Valley trains are given. Bus times are no longer included. The format is conventional, with station names in the left hand column.

1989 Cityline "Quick Reference" Timetable

The following timetable was on the back of a large glossy bus and train guide issued by Cityline. The guide was issued in February 1989 as part of an information pack. The pack included a letter explaining the changes.The complete "Quick Reference" timetable can be viewed by clicking here.

The back of the map also includes a description of the logic behind the Hutt Valley train timetable. An extract from the map can be viewed here.

An interesting aspect of this timetable is the inclusion of tables of offsets (in minutes) for minor stations.

1989 Timetable

The 1989 public timetable is a four page A4 document. The Cityline logo is used. The layout has been transposed, with station names across the top of the timetable. Friday only and Not Monday trains have been introduced. Limited stop trains are highlighted in red, although the word express is not used. The timetable was included in an information pack sent to Hutt Valley residents with an attached letter explaining the changes.

1991 Timetable

The 1991 public timetable is a four page A4 document. It is similar to the 1989 timetable, except that the Cityrail and Wellington Regional Council Ridewell logos are used. Also, off-peak fares from 9am to 3pm (from Upper Hutt) and 9am to 3 30pm (from Wellington) have been introduced. Limited stop trains are highlighted in red, although the word Express is not used.

1995 Timetable

The 1995 public timetable is a four page A4 document. It is on better quality paper than previous timetables. A schematic Hutt Valley route map is included at the top. Express (limited stop) trains are highlighted in red. The Tranz Metro and Wellington Regional Council logos are used.

June 2000 Reprint

The June 2000 reprint of the 1995 timetable is a six page A4 document. Four pages are identical to the four page 1995 timetable, except for a web address which has been added. The extra two pages are a fare schedule. The effective date of the fare schedule is 14 July 1996 and I believe that it was originally a separate leaflet. The stylised route map in the reprint and the original takes two forms: on the Monday to Friday pages the schematic includes the Melling line; it is omitted from the diagram on the weekend pages. The Tranz Metro and Wellington Regional Council logos are used.

2001 Timetable

The 2001 timetable introduced half hourly services on Sundays. There were minor changes to weekday services; the new timetable was primarily introduced because of increased weekday frequencies on the Paraparaumu line. Separate timetable leaflets were issued for the Hutt Valley, Paraparaumu, Johnsonville and the Wairarapa.

The timetable introduced a new format. It was folded lengthways so that it was A4 long but half A4 wide when folded. Unfolded the timetable was three A4 pages side by side, (six pages total, the same as the 2000 reprint). However the appearance is completely different. A smaller type size has been used and the colours have changed. The network diagram now aligns with the main part of the timetable, which is most noticable with the Melling Branch. The "..." used to indicate "train passes but does not stop" has been replaced with a much more intuative arrow. The dash "-" indicating "train does not pass station" has been replaced with a blank, which is also much more intuative.

A General Information section has been added; the last timetables to have such a section were in the early 1980s. The front of the timetable ( when folded ) has a series of images on it, again the first since the early 1980s.

Of note are the words "A Service From Tranz Rail" in small print on the front. At the time this page was created (August 2001) Tranz Metro was being offered for sale. In 2004 Tranz Metro was owned by Toll, who had purchased Tranz Rail. The Ridewell and Wellington Regional Council logos are not used, although there is a mention of the Ridewell Timetable information line.

Timetable enquiries are made easier by the inclusion of contact telephone numbers and a web address.

October 2004 Pocket Timetable

The October 2004 Pocket Guide listed peak times only. Folded it was slighly larger than a credit card. Unfolded, about two-thirds A4. Pocket Guides were probably also issued in earlier years but I do not have any examples.

Solid arrows make it easy to identify non-stopping (Express) services.

2006 Metlink Timetable

In September 2006 Metlink, Greater Wellington's public transport network, took over reponsibility for compiling and issuing the timetable. It is a 10.5cm x 9.5cm pocket size document that unfolds to three A4 sheets.

The format has been substantially changed.

  • Stations are listed in a column, reverting to the convention last used up to 1989.
  • Off-peak weekday times are condensed.
  • A map shows the railway line and bus routes.
  • The metlink zone fare system is introduced.
  • Express services are no longer highlighted by arrows and the word Express has been replaced by the leter X.
  • Melling services are listed in a separate table. It seems that Metlink are missing an opportunity to market the more frequent services to Petone.

The timetable is titled Hutt Valley & Melling Train Lines. Grrrr!!!!!!!


Christmas Timetables

Special Timetables are introduced over the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

Last Updated: Mon Mar 19 11:11:52 NZST 2007

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