Mosgiel rail clean up means detours for residents

25 March 2015 10:10AM

KiwiRail advises Mosgiel residents that upcoming maintenance works to improve under-track conditions will see road detours clearly signposted and train protection systems temporarily turned off on 18 to 19 April, 2015. Over this weekend the largest set up of KiwiRail’s rail maintenance machines, the ballast cleaner, is coming to town.

We thank the community in advance for their patience as we carry out this important work says KiwiRail’s Dunedin Area Manager Brian McAlister.

“Locals should expect some traffic congestion around Mosgiel Station and Riccarton Road. We also ask anyone near the rail network to take extra care and where possible avoid using the level crossings as the alarm bell system is turned off when the ballast cleaner passes slowly through.”

During the ballast cleaner’s visit Mosgiel residents are welcome to check it out, but please be aware the work can be noisy and dusty and ground vibrations can be expected.

Brian says the ballast cleaner creates quite an impressive sight as the specialist equipment we use are hooked together to create a train a few hundred metres long.

“It’s not often we get hold of this machine as it perform an extremely important job and is in high demand around the country. She arrived in the South Island mid-February, travelling on the Interislander, and Mosgiel is her last job before heading back over the Strait.”

“The cleaners make the trip once a year and clean the stones under the tracks using state of the art technology to sieve out the ‘good’ stones’ from the ‘bad’ stones and the re-aligns the rails afterwards.  Overtime vegetation can trap mud and dust and prevent the ballast from freely draining, causing a ragged surface. This of course adds a safety risk as it may cause a moving train to lean.”

The ballast cleaner will remove the problematic vegetation and ensure the track foundations are in good condition. This means a faster, smoother journey for our trains and less overall track maintenance.

KiwiRail aims to get the work done as efficiently and safely as possible, and we thank those affected for their patience and understanding as we work to improve our rail network.

ENDS

Media contact: David Miller, 021 804 906 or david.miller@kiwirail.co.nz.