Kaikoura train on the move

27 March 2017 11:11AM


All wrapped up: The locomotive before the shift, wrapped to protect it against salty sea spray.

Rail was back moving near Kaikoura as the KiwiRail train stuck between slips was shifted to allow vital work to begin on realigning the road and track at one of the major slip sites.

“This is another step in getting the line open again. The Main North Line is an important part of our network and before the earthquake more than a million tonnes of freight was moving over the line each year,” KiwiRail Group General Manager Todd Moyle says.

KiwiRail freight service 737 stopped in a tunnel north of Kaikoura, near Hapuku on the morning of the 14 November earthquake last year.  It was moved to allow the freight it was carrying to be taken off it in December but planned construction work means it had to be shifted again.

The wagons have been stored in a tunnel, with the locomotive on the track nearby.

“We got a KiwiRail mechanical team to bring up 800 kilogrammes of jump start batteries in case it wasn’t going to start up,” says NCTIR Rail Engineering Manager Peter Dautermann.

“They started it up and ran it for about an hour and half just to get it warmed up and to get everything working right on the train”.

Mr Dautermann says “everywhere there are rails in New Zealand everyone needs to treat the rails as being in use.”

Work trains were already working from the north, and will start shortly from the south.

“The public needs to expect trains all the time,” Todd Moyle says.

“Our teams are working hard as part of the NCTIR alliance to get the line open as quickly as possible. The sooner we can do that the sooner we can start moving freight down it for distribution throughout the South Island again.”

Simon Kilroy
027 405 6800

KiwiRail Communications