Rail Freight Can Move Thurs Night


In the South island, KiwiRail hopes to re-open the Main North Line to rail traffic tomorow night almost a week after it was closed by a massive slip south of Kaikoura.

KiwiRail wants to move increased volumes of freight over the weekend to ensure essential goods continue to reach Christchurch. Since the slip closed the line, KiwiRail has moved approximately 190 containers by road between Blenheim and Christchurch.

The TranzCoastal passenger service, which had been suspended by the slip, will recommence from tomorrow but as a bus replacement until the rail line is fully open.

Workers have been using diggers to remove material from near the top of the huge slip south of Kaikoura face since early yesterday, and have now worked their way well down the face.

Caution is being exercised removing debris from the bottom of the slip, to ensure it continues to provide a safe working platform for diggers and other machinery on top.

Crews will again work through the night as part of the push to get the road open by 4pm tomorrow.

Crews have worked 24 hours a day since the slip was stabilised on Monday night, and have made good progress in removing the estimated 30,000 cubic metres of debris.

Pacifica Shipping says it has moved a record volume of consumer goods into and out of Canterbury through the port of Lyttelton since the earthquake struck the region.

Its coastal vessels have been “absolutely chocker” carrying over 2,000 TUEs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) for Canterbury retail, manufacturing and construction businesses experiencing stock shortages.

General manager of operations, Steve Chapman, says a further 1,000 TEUs will be carried through the local port over the next few days.

Mr Chapman said the benefit of having uninterrupted coastal shipping links has been apparent since rail and road transport connections suffered major disruptions over recent days.




  1. Geoff says:

    The first freight through the slip site arrived in Kaikoura at 9:30 this morning, from Picton. They must have finished well ahead of time, although I think they are using a temporary track around the edge of the slip.


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