Rail link likely to be all go by tomorrow

By Christine McKay


The damaged Dannevirke-Port of Napier rail link should be open again tomorrow, a KiwiRail spokeswoman says.

Senior communications adviser Sophie Lee said work on the rail site at Makotuku was going well.

"KiwiRail staff and contractors are still working around the clock on two shifts and we expect to have the track open by tomorrow," she said.

The line has been closed since Sunday morning, after a slope washed away as a result of four days of rain, leaving the railway track suspended in mid-air.

More than 170mm of rain had fallen in the area in the days leading up to the washout and work crews were left battling snow, sleet and hail as they worked to lay boulders and fill to reconstruct the platform for the track. Fine weather yesterday helped crews as they worked compacting the surface at the site.

KiwiRail communications manager Kimberley Brady said: "Once the line is reopened we'll run with additional capacity to clear any backlogs as quickly as possible."

The regular four return services a day between Napier and Palmerston North would then resume, hauling general freight and export product.

Napier Port operations manager Chris Bain said no shipping had been held up. However, the volume of containers had certainly been reduced.

"Those that have been affected have had to make alternative arrangements, having to bring in product by road rather than rail."


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