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KiwiRail says there is no increased risk to the public at Wellington station despite the reinstatement of earthquake warning signs in the building.
Under pressure from Wellington City Council, KiwiRail has posted Earthquake Prone Building (EPB) notices around the station, two years after they were removed.
KiwiRail on September 2 assured the public nothing had changed about the building itself; instead citing a change in technical guidelines for Engineering Assessments.
“If [the station] were a normal office building the overall building structure would be rated at 65-75 per cent New Building Standard (NBS),” KiwiRail chief operating officer for capital projects and asset development David Gordon said.
“But because the office is part of a public building it has to meet a higher standard than a normal office building.”
KiwiRail’s engineering assessment in 2015 found the station to be rated between 45 and 55 per cent NBS – a building is considered earthquake prone if it falls below 34 per cent NBS.
The operator posted EPB notices around the station at that time and undertook work to strengthen the building.
“This included work strengthening the atrium roof trusses, and removal unreinforced masonry from the building to bring these elements up to the standard of the rest of the building. Additional work was also undertaken post the November 2016 earthquake to address other earthquake risk elements.”
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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