light rail

Making light rail work for Wellington


Light rail is being promoted enthusiastically as a way to solve Wellington’s transport problems and reduce carbon emissions. But is a light rail system from the train station to Island Bay really the best answer?

A public talk hosted by LIVE WELLington in November 2022 featured an different view from two people who have been highly engaged in light rail, tram and transport issues for many years: Brent Efford of the Light Rail Transit Association and Demetrius Christoforou of Trams Action.

Their concern is that the mass rapid transit proposals from Let's Get Wellington Moving will not encourage enough people out of cars and are missing an opportunity to provide an effective world-class transit system for Wellington that connects to existing rail. 

Brent and Demetrius have kindly shared their slides and presentation material.


Demetrius Christoforou of Trams Action

In 'How to fail rail by LGWM' – Demetrius makes the case for 3 important changes:

  • the rail solution for Wellington should connect existing commuter rail services into the city, instead of stopping at the edge
  • its destination should cater to existing demand, not projected future demand – this means going to the airport and eastern suburbs, not Island Bay.
  • It should go through the Golden Mile, not the quays, in order to cater to as many people as possible.

How to fail rail by LGWM


Brent Efford of the Light Rail Transit Association

Brent looks at the history of policy making around the light rail solution for Wellington, and how tram trains are a solution that makes sense. 

He also sets out in detail how the route could work and might look.

Presentation: Rail penetration of the Wellington CBD

Map of the Trams Action suggested route.