Sonya is a social issues reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Cut cable snarls up rail crossings

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A power outage caused signals and barrier arms at two Mount Maunganui rail crossings to stop working. Photo / George Novak
A power outage caused signals and barrier arms at two Mount Maunganui rail crossings to stop working. Photo / George Novak

Faults at two Mount Maunganui rail crossings caused traffic delays after a New Zealand Transport Agency contractor accidently cut a power cable.

A contractor working on the Baypark to Bayfair project accidently struck an unmarked cable about 11.30am yesterday, which caused power outages at the two nearby rail crossings.

Transport Agency senior project manager Greig Stephen apologised to people who experienced delays.

Mr Stephen said the power outage prevented the barrier arms from working which caused delays for some travellers.

"The issue is expected to be resolved in approximately 24 hours. Until the power can be restored trains will be travelling through the crossings at a reduced speed, and members of the public are advised to take extra care when driving or walking through the area.

"The Transport Agency once again apologises for the inconvenience caused and thanks people for their patience."

Average delays were about eight to 10 minutes.

KiwiRail said while power was being restored, the two level crossings would have their barrier arms raised to prevent road traffic delays.

To ensure public safety, all train services had been placed on a restricted speed of 10km/h going through these crossings.

"KiwiRail urges motorists to take particular care at these crossings during the outage, to look for trains in both directions, and cross the tracks only when it is safe to do so."

Rail crossing safety tips:

* Slow down and be ready to stop.

* Search up and down the railway line.

* Cross only if you are sure there are no trains coming.

- NZTA

- Bay of Plenty Times

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