Section of New Zealand’s Midland Line closed following fire

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Photo: TrainboyMBH / CC BY-SA 4.0.

A section of New Zealand’s Midland Line between Cass and Springfield will be closed for at least six weeks to allow engineers to assess and repair the damage from a large scrub fire.

KiwiRail confirmed on February 7 that the fire had damaged bridges and track infrastructure along the route, which is used by the TranzAlpine scenic rail service.

Alongside this closure, KiwiRail is continuing to rebuild the Main North Line following the Kaikoura earthquake that struck the South Island in November 2016.

Todd Moyle, KiwiRail Group general manager of Network Services, said technicians from around the country would be called in to assist in the repair.

He added: “Hot and windy conditions at the weekend meant several of our bridges along the route were damaged, including one bridge where 12 wooden piles will need to be replaced.

“We are still working through the quickest course of action to reinstate the line. Heat spots in the area remain a concern.

“We are very disappointed for the many international tourists who have travelled to New Zealand and will now miss out on the opportunity to enjoy our world renowned TranzAlpine service. Full refunds are being offered as well as short term bus services.

“We are also working closely with our freight customers on the fast reinstatement of the train services that move their goods.

“Although there is a lot of work to do, we don’t see this job affecting the rail rebuild happening across the island on the Main North Line, which is continuing at pace after November’s Kaikoura earthquake.”

Photo licensed under Creative Commons.

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