New Zealand rail operator KiwiRail has announced that trains will be running on the Main North Line from Claverley towards Kaikoura for the first time since the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.
The services will allow 1000-tonne work trains to go as far as Oaro to help make the necessary repairs to get the line open and carrying freight again.
KiwiRail’s general manager of network services Todd Moyle said it was a sign of the serious progress being made as part of an “enormous” project to re-open the line.
He added: “Work trains will be laying ballast under and around the sleepers to lock in the track alignment.
“The work train is followed by a tamper which packs the ballast under the sleepers and makes final adjustments to the alignment and level of the track.
“In the north, work trains are now travelling as far south as Wharanui.
“The arrival of work trains means progress not just for the rail, but for the whole transport corridor.
“It also means that people need to be extremely careful around the rail corridor and when using level crossings as there has been little activity on the line until now since November’s earthquake.”
Trains will be running from Claverley to Oaro from May 31.