Rail reopening moves closer as first train crosses Clarence River

10 July 2017 10:10AM

KiwiRail marked another milestone in the rebuild of the rail line between Picton and Christchurch today, with the first work train crossing the Clarence Bridge since the earthquake.

Built in 1939, the 480m bridge over the Clarence River is one of the largest and most picturesque KiwiRail bridges on the South Island Main North Line.

Trains haven’t been able to use the bridge since it was damaged in the Kaikoura earthquake last year.

“Repairs to the bridge mean work trains can now carry materials over it from the north, to help with the rebuild further south,” says KiwiRail Group General Manager Network Services Todd Moyle.

“There’s only around 10km of rail left on the line still needing repairs, before work trains and tampers will be able to operate over the whole length of the line.

“Having work trains operate is a key step in getting the line open for freight trains as quickly as is safely possible.

“People in the region should be aware they need to take care around the rail corridor, as there are work trains and other vehicles using the line,” Mr Moyle says.