Parnell Strand Rail Bridge, Tunnel Prepared for Electric Trains - Photos


Work has begun to get the old Parnell railbridge across the Strand ready for electric trains.

Workers have also begun working 24 hours inside the Parnell tunnel to adjust the tracks and replace the drainage systems inside in preparation for electrification.

The adjustments to the Parnell Truss, which runs across The Strand and Parnell Rd, are to provide clearance for overhead wires to run through it.

The workers erected scaffolding and will now be moving to replace the brackets and braces on the truss.

They will also starting work on modifying the truss frame.

And the workers’ trucks and heavy equipment have arrived for a massive 24-hour operation in the Parnell tunnel between now and January 17.

The work involves:

  • Lowering the rail tracks about 150m at each end of the tunnel
  • Lowering the tunnel floor to accommodate a lowered track
  • Installing drainage in the tunnel and at each end

The track will be removed and later this week, the track formation will be lowered. This will involve using excavators, bulldozers and trucks and these have started to arrive at the construction site.

The Parnell bridge is an important part of this country’s rail history.




  1. James Pole says:

    “Lowering the rail tracks about 150m at each end of the tunnel”

    I assume you mean 150mm?

  2. Jon C says:

    Math was never my strong point James.
    Actually I did check my notes and that’s what they said!

  3. Jim C says:

    It does make sense that for about 150 meters the track will have to be lowered to allow for the lowered track with in the tunnel. Otherwise there will be a sudden descent which would be felt within the train. If you look at the Manawatu Gorge where the two tunnels have had lowered tracks, the bridges at the end of the tunnels have had to have work done on them so there is a slow descent to the new level and slow ascent.

  4. Andrew says:

    (“150m” means the track will be lowered a bit affecting a horizontal distance 150m either side of the tunnel, not that the track will be 150m beneath its present position.)


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