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Closing the rail link between Christchurch and the West Coast is unthinkable, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce says. It was commenting on a report commissioned for the Land Transport Safety Authority painted a bleak picture of the rail line - which carries a quarter of all freight in New Zealand.
The report, released yesterday, said the line was in such a poor state of repair it was not "fit for purpose" beyond the immediate future, raising the spectre of a possible closure of the line. Coincidentally the rail line was closed for eight hours yesterday after a carriage on a freight train derailed near Papanui, Christchurch, as a result of a wheel malfunction.
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