A passenger train has derailed north of Wellington and a slip has closed part of State Highway 1, causing major traffic problems on the Kāpiti Coast this morning.
Mauricio Torrealba, who owns the Fishermans Table restaurant in Paekākāriki, was called by emergency services at around 6.45, asking if he could shelter passengers from the derailed train.
"We had a call from the emergency services asking me whether I could shelter some 90 people. And so we opened the doors for them. "
"They all came in a bit serious at first, but then they all sat down and started chatting away, communicating with their loved ones, and they were OK."
The train passengers were at the restaurant for about half an hour before three buses arrived to take them away.
Torrealba could see the de-railed train from the restaurant and said it looked "a bit twisted".
Debris falling on to rail lines had caused the passenger train to derail in the area.
Police are responding to reports of flooding and debris in the area, and there are no reports of injury.
Waka Kotahi is warning motorists to travel with care through the area while the debris is cleared.
There is also a large slip closing the southbound lane on SH1 just south of Paekākāriki Hill Rd.
A detour is in place for light traffic via Paekākāriki Hill Rd. Trucks are asked to wait until the road re-opens.
Metlink said no trains are running past Plimmerton on the Kāpiti Line. Trains are also suspended between Wellington and Ngaio on the Johnsonville line due to fallen trees blocking the track south of Crofton Downs.
An earlier crash blocking the right southbound lane just after the State Highway 2 Melling link in Lower Hutt in Wellington has now been cleared, but delays are expected while the congestion eases.
NZTA is urging people to take care while passing through the area while work is under way to clear the road.