Taumarunui rail network to get a boost from KiwiRail

03 February 2015 4:04PM

February sees the start of KiwiRail’s upgrade to seven wooden rail bridges along the North Island Main Trunk Line (NIMT) in the Taumarunui area. The work will improve the efficiency of the busy main line which runs from Auckland to Wellington and will be done in close consultation with the local community and authorities.

"The bridge upgrades are part of a wider push to improve our freight services by increasing the safety and reliability of the network across the country," explains Dave Gordon, Acting Manager Infrastructure and Asset Management KiwiRail.

Mr Gordon says KiwiRail is mindful of how the network and upgrade work can impact our neighbours and consultation is already underway, "We are committed to working with Tangata Whenua, local and district Councils and directly affected neighbours. This will help us to ensure the tikanga and interests of those involved are respected throughout the project. When doing the work we always work to reduce the disruption of our construction by doing the job as quickly and quietly as we can."

The work will be undertaken by KiwiRail’s contractor Downer NZ who will ensure appropriate protocols are observed.

The bridges are being replaced with structures that we can ‘fix and forget’ so will need less maintenance says Mr Gordon, "This is a win-win situation for us and the everyone - it will reduce costs as well as disruption to our neighbours and freight services."

Bridge upgrade start dates are*:

February: Uepango Bridge (206) and Whiritoa Bridge (201)

Late February/ Early March: Taringamotu Bridge (203)

Late March/ Early April: Ongaruhe Bridge (207)

Later in 2015: Opotiki Bridge (204), Mangakahikatea Bridge (208) and Waihuka bridge (209).

*These may change.

Geotech testing is underway at Whiritoa Bridge (201), Taringamotu Bridge (203) and Opotiki Bridge (204). These sites were blessed before it began. Testing will give us a picture of the underground conditions and will help plan construction activities.

 

ENDS

Media Contact: Tammy Dickinson, Senior Communications Advisor, 09 363 7302