Kaikoura freight line finally re-opens

  • 15/09/2017

The main rail line for carrying freight between Picton and Christchurch will re-open today ten months after Kaikoura's devastating earthquake.

The return of freight services will be marked in Christchurch and Kaikoura as the first train travels down the line.

Last year's November earthquake near Kaikoura closed the line after it had been buried by more than 100 slips and landslides.

Another 60 bridges along the line were also damaged and had to be repaired.

"Having this key freight service running again is an immense achievement, which will take pressure off the inland routes while helping with the rebuild of State Highway 1," Minister of Transport Simon Bridges says.

"Rail services, even in a limited capacity, will take around 2000 trucks off the road each month, building to 4000 trucks when the line is fully operating again by the end of the year."

The first is due to arrive in Christchurch on Friday afternoon.