A train that derailed in Whanganui forced a section of Taupo Quay to be closed this morning.

The train, with more than 30 carriages, came to a stop across the road near the intersection with Heads Rd but has since been put back on the tracks.

Several KiwiRail workers are at the scene along with two cranes, one from Whanganui and one from Palmerston North, to hoist the train back into position.

The two cranes rated at 50 tonne were need to lift the 89 tonne locomotive back onto the tracks.

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Paul Ashton, KiwiRail's general manager operations - Lower North Island, said the lead bogie on the locomotive, which was pulling a freight train from Palmerston North to Castlecliff, derailed.

KiwiRail incident controller John Keenan said the derailment occurred around 7am.

He said it's not certain what caused the derailment.

"There's been a couple of things we've discovered so I've got to liaise with mechanical networks because we haven't gauged the track yet, but at this early stage we're still looking into it.

"It'll be probably three or four weeks of investigation. We have to make sure we get everything right so we can establish what went wrong and what the cause of derailment was."

No-one was injured in the incident.

Train derailed on Taupo Quay near Heads Rd. Photo / Bevan Conley
Train derailed on Taupo Quay near Heads Rd. Photo / Bevan Conley
Kiwirail staff are on the scene. Photo / Bevan Conley
Kiwirail staff are on the scene. Photo / Bevan Conley