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HUTT rail commuters faced long delays yesterday morning when a train from Melling broke down, holding up at least four following trains during rush hour.
Passenger Sandeep Bhim said his train was delayed for an hour between Ava and Petone and staff could have communicated better.
"They have an intercom on the carriages. The first person that told us anything was the train conductor, half an hour after the train stopped.
"He said it was a problem with the brakes on the train in front."
Communications within Toll, the rail operator, also appeared to be confused.
"People were calling Ridewell and being told the train had been fixed when it hadn't been."
Because Mr Bhim's train was stopped "in the middle of nowhere" between high fences, passengers could not be transferred to buses.
Toll New Zealand spokeswoman Sue Foley said the delay was caused by mechanical problems on a Melling train. Its location made it difficult for repair crews to reach it. She denied that the delay had been more than 40 minutes.
"We certainly apologise to anyone that was late getting to work today."
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