11 Jun 2013

Train didn't wait for disabled couple

10:39 pm on 11 June 2013

KiwiRail is investigating why a train began moving as a woman in a wheelchair and her visually impaired husband were getting off.

The couple was leaving the Capital Connection service at Waikanae Station on Monday and the train stopped when a KiwiRail staff member alerted the driver.

Passenger service general manager Deborah Hume told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Tuesday the woman told her she was on the wheelchair ramp at the time and the situation is being investigated.

Ms Hume said the incident should not have happened and the investigation would look into whether changes need to be made for safe wheelchair access to and from trains.

In May, KiwiRail admitted it failed to identify problems with a crossing in Auckland where a disabled woman was critically injured.

The woman's wheelchair was stuck in the tracks at the Morningside station in February this year and she was dragged along by a freight train.