Trolley bus decommissioning

The era of trolley buses has come to an end to make way for a new fleet of buses, including latest-technology electric buses – this means the overhead wire network that allowed the trolley buses to run are being removed.

Trolley bus and overhead wires.

Trolley bus on Aro Street


End of trolley bus services

Trolley bus services in Wellington ended on 1 November 2017.

Removing the network of trolley bus wires

We have been removing 82km of double-tracked wires. This work started in November 2017, beginning with taking down the network in the city centre and moving outwards to our suburbs. The work is being done by a specialist company, Broadspectrum.

Overhead network removal

We have completed the removal of the overhead lines in the following sections to date:

  • Emergency Track
  • Victoria Street
  • CBD
  • Bus Highway 2
  • Rongotai
  • Miramar
  • Aro Street
  • Newtown Main
  • Newtown Zoo
  • Karori
  • Karori Depot
  • Lyall Bay
  • Island Bay
  • Bus barn 

We are currently busy with Brooklyn and Newtown Park, and will then move onto Seatoun and Willis Street and then the last section being Bus Highway 1. 

Road Marking Removal

All trolley bus road markings have been removed from the roads making this 100% complete.

What has been happening 

We gave residents and businesses plenty of notice when work was taking place in their area.

Most of the work takes place at night to minimise disruption. Specialised cutting equipment removes about 200 metres of wire each night – so work can quickly move on.

Sections of the road may be closed from time to time and some residents may be asked to park their cars elsewhere that night. 

There is some machinery and vehicle noise (which will be monitored). Steps are being taken to keep noise to a minimum, such as muting vehicle-reversing bleepers and using specialised radio communications.   

Stay safe - don't touch the wires

Keep a safe distance from the wires, and make sure your vehicle continues to meet overhead obstruction restraint requirements until the network is fully removed.

This is because, even though we will switch off the network on 31 October 2017, there could be other influences that result in making the wires electrically dangerous.

Always treat the overhead wires as a live network. 

More information 

 If you have any queries about the work happening in your area, phone Broadspectrum on 0800 876 559.