Canterbury Earthquake halts services - update 3

22 February 2011 4:04PM

KiwiRail has stopped all trains at 12.58 (time of earthquake) between Timaru and Picton, and on the West Coast. There are no injuries to staff or passengers.

TranzAlpine has been stopped at Greymouth and the return service has been cancelled. There are 231 passengers on board and we are sourcing alternative accommodation for them as the state of the road and track is unknown.

TranzCoastal has been stopped at Picton with approximately 163 passengers. Again the service to Christchurch has been cancelled until the state of the track can be confirmed and arrangements are being made for these passengers too.

TranzAlpine and TranzCoastal services will not be running tomorrow.

Interislander services across Cook Strait are still operating as normal, although we note that Civil Defence has asked people not to travel to Christchurch.

A coal train derailed at Heathcote with 7 wagons affected, but still upright. There were no injuries, and the train driver reported cracks in the Martindale Bridge, so the police could stop traffic.

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said initial track inspections had begun. Damage to track include:

  • Buckles in the Addington area
  • Buckles between Belfast and Rangiora
  • A slip on the city side of the Lyttelton Tunnel.


"But the welfare of our staff and their families as well as our passengers and other customers is our first priority."


For further information please contact:

Kimberley Brady
Ph 021 942 519