KiwiRail has re-opened the section of line at Rangitata damaged by flooding, allowing freight services to resume full operations.
“A special work train travelled over the section of line today, and we have scheduled freight services to run tomorrow,” says Acting South Island General Manager Mark Heissenbuttel.
The line at Rangitata had been closed since 7 December when 330m of track suffered significant washout damages.
“Since the washout damage, freight services that usually depart from Christchurch have been departing from Timaru. This has allowed us to operate our usual freight services from Timaru to Dunedin and on to Invercargill.
“In the interim we’ve also offered a daily freight service from Christchurch to Ashburton and extended operating hours at our Timaru Container Terminal.
“It’s been a substantial fix and we needed to wait for the waters to recede before starting remediation work, as the flood waters were so high.
“Our staff and supporting contractors have worked hard to re-instate the line so we can resume services for our customers.
“Due to the hard work of the teams and clearer weather, we’ve been able to re-open the line slightly earlier than expected, which is great news for our customers.
“The site will be inspected daily, except for Christmas and Boxing Day to ensure it remains safe for rail operations.”