Rail freight services resume between Picton and Christchurch

06 March 2018 9:09AM

Rail freight services on the Main North Line between Picton and Christchurch resumed overnight following completion of work to repair damage caused by former Cyclone Gita, says KiwiRail Group General Manager Todd Moyle.

"KiwiRail was able to run all four scheduled services last night, thanks to the huge effort by the KiwiRail and NCTIR teams to get this work done so quickly,” says Mr Moyle. 

“Much of the work focused on clearing the debris flows triggered by the exceptional levels of rain.  Overall, we were very pleased to see that areas were work had already been completed stood up very well, and we have been able to largely restore the track to the same condition it was prior to the storm. “

Rainfall levels in the Kaikoura area during the storm were the highest recorded since the November 2016 earthquake.  One site recorded 300mmm in a 15-hour period, more than three times the usual monthly average for the area.

“Our teams also took advantage of the line being closed to bring forward other works. One of the temporary bridges, put in to enable the early re-opening in September has been replaced with a new permanent structure. 

“This is a great outcome as it will help improve running time of trains and closes out another major damage site from the original earthquake.

“Looking ahead, our teams will continue to focus on works that improve the reliability of the line and reduce transit times, so we can better support our customers and resume pre-earthquake levels of operations as soon as possible.”

Jenni Austin
Senior Communications Advisor
021 961 495