Weekly column by Kāpiti's Greater Wellington Regional Council representative Penny Gaylor.
Kāpiti Coast train users had to deal with major delays last week because of a piece of track infrastructure that was sticking out and then ended up damaging scores of trains on our line.
I wanted to explain to the wider audience what had happened, I'm sure it's of interest to people who aren't frequent Metlink rail customers.
The disruption was caused by a 75m section of rail track being left beside the tracks about 2km south of Paekakariki Station.
As the trains went past the random spare track it damaged the tripcocks on 70 of our trains.
I know - unbelievable!
And no I didn't know what a tripcock was either - so here's a picture of one, or three.
Turns out they're really important safety mechanisms.
A tripcock is one of two parts in a train protection device that automatically stops a train if it attempts to pass a critical stop signal.
A spring-loaded trip arm on the ground triggers the tripcock under our trains which is connected to the train's braking system.
Yes, we definitely want those in top-notch operating order.
Of course safety is paramount to Metlink so as soon as the damage was reported, Metlink got every train into the yard and found 70 units with damaged tripcocks.
Now, not only do I know what a tripcock looks like, I'm also seeing dollars sing - lots of them!!
Bus replacements were co-ordinated by Metlink while they searched across the network for the obstruction and started immediate repairs to the damaged trains.
Metlink was able to get things back to normal, thanks to the staff at Hyundai-Rotem and Transdev who worked through the night to repair the trains.
KiwiRail are still investigating how the culprit 3.75 tonne rail track moved and was able to cause issues for the protection devices on our passing trains.
Apologies to everyone who was affected.
And a big vote of thanks to those who worked gangbusters to fix things and get the trains back on the tracks.