Need for vigilance as trains start running on Thursday

07 March 2017 2:02PM

KiwiRail is warning motorists and others that maintenance trains and other rail vehicles are about to start running on the Main North Line between Picton and Christchurch.

“The trains are a vital part of the re-build programme" says Group General Manager Network Services Todd Moyle.

“We are making solid progress addressing the 750 damage sites. The maintenance trains will allow that progress to continue.

“Train services were stopped following the Kaikoura Earthquake and people may have become accustomed to no trains. They need to be extremely vigilant when they are using level crossings or moving about near the line as services resume.

KiwiRail is warning motorists and others that maintenance trains are about to start running on the Main North Line between Picton and Christchurch.

“The line has never been officially shut and hi-rail vehicles have been using the line. However, this is a step up in scale.

“It means people need to expect trains anytime and from either direction.

“The trains are being used to carry ballast and other materials to work sites on the line, and are a vital part of rebuilding plans,” says Mr Moyle.

The first work train is scheduled to run on Thursday March 9 from Blenheim south to Mirza. They will be moving progressively further south after that. They will also begin travelling north from the Christchurch end of the line later this month.  As the recovery works proceed, the frequency of track machinery travelling on the line will also increase.

TrackSAFE Foundation Manager Megan Drayton says “people need to understand they must stay off railway tracks, and cross only at level crossings.

“Drivers should follow these guidelines when going over a railway level crossing:

“When you see a railway level crossing sign, slow down and be ready to stop.

“Look both ways up and down the tracks to check the railway lines are clear and wait for any approaching train to pass before crossing.

“Cross only if you are sure there are no trains coming in either direction and there are no vehicles stopped in front of you on the other side of the crossing.

“At a level crossing with a “Stop” sign – obey the signs - you must stop in the same way as you would at a road intersection.”

 

Simon Kilroy

KiwiRail Communications

027 405 6800