KiwiRail freight services to the Port of Lyttelton resumed from 5pm yesterday evening. Containerised freight began moving last night, and coal trains are expected to start during the weekend. The services are running under a temporary 25km/h speed restriction.
KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn said that getting all rail freight services running to and from Christchurch was a mammoth effort from KiwiRail staff and those from the Port.
“I have been overwhelmed by the dedication of all our people, despite their own personal circumstances, to get our trains running again.”
“It is vital for Christchurch that the supply chains are up and running as soon as possible. While we had the main north, south, and west lines running within a couple of days, extensive damage to infrastructure leading to the port needed more time for repair.
“To get the Lyttelton rail services and associated port infrastructure working again despite this damage shows how skilled and resilient the staff involved are,” he said.
“We also want to make local residents and emergency services aware of the resumption of these services,” said Mr Quinn.
“Despite the slow speed, these trains will still cause some vibration and, of course, noise which may concern some residents along the line.
“I would ask them to please call us on 0800 351 351 to report any concerns. We will also inform them when the speed restriction will be lifted.
“But I am sure that everyone in Christchurch understands how important it is to get the freight trains moving again right across the network to help bring in more supplies as needed.”
KiwiRail will provide a further update this week on the date for resumption of TranzAlpine and TranzCoastal services.