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Napier-Gisborne Line Damage

27 March 2012

KiwiRail is assessing reinstatement options for the section of the Napier- Gisborne railway line extensively damaged by heavy rain in the region last week.

Considerable damage has been found along the line between Wairoa and Gisborne, with a three kilometre section through the Wharerata ranges just south of Beach loop hardest hit.

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn says the storm that passed over the region early last week caused three major washouts along a three kilometre stretch – one about 100 metres long, and a second of around 40 metres.   

There was also other flooding and slip damage through the general area. 

“Parts of the line are so difficult to reach that it wasn’t until Friday that our teams were able to access and see just what damage had occurred,“ he says.

Mr Quinn said it would take some time to complete the necessary evaluation on the re-instatement options for the track.

“At this stage we are continuing to focus on gathering the facts which will form the basis for a decision to be made on how best to proceed.   However from what can plainly be seen, the damage is extensive and any repairs would take considerable time to complete.“

The heavy rain also damaged the line south of Wairoa, but these were repaired last week and that part of the line was reopened and rail services to Wairoa were resumed last Thursday.

Mr Quinn says KiwiRail is keeping local customers and councils briefed on the situation. 

END

Media contact: Jenni Austin, Senior Communications Advisor, 021 961 495