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KiwiRail’s ferries the Kaitaki and Kaiarahi are now back to over 75% capacity on the Cook Strait and hope to be running full operations by the end of the week.
KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says real progress has been made over the past 48 hours with getting rail and ferry operations back to full speed and supporting customers in challenging times.
“While there is still work to be done, we have made some significant strides in a short amount of time. All freight lines in the North Island and south of Christchurch are open and operating and rail alternatives have been arranged for CentrePort customers to other North Island ports, meaning there is no disruption for New Zealand’s exports.
“With the ferry operations up and running to Picton, KiwiRail has been able to work with freight customers on delivering goods by rail to the container transfer site at Blenheim. From there, freight can be delivered by truck to Christchurch either via the West Coast or State Highway 7.
“The damage on the Main North Line between Christchurch and Picton is significant, however KiwiRail have been working hard around the clock to ensure we have a comprehensive understanding of the extent of the damage and what needs to be done.
“KiwiRail has set up coordination centres in Christchurch and Wellington to work with the New Zealand Transport Agency and ensure alignment on damage assessment and subsequent repairs.”
Kaitaki and Kaiarahi ferries are now carrying foot passengers out of Wellington to Picton however foot passengers are still unable to be checked in and carried between Picton and Wellington.
KiwiRail is working with Port of Marlborough and has identified an area that has been deemed safe for disembarking foot passengers, we are now investigating how quickly the terminal can become operational.
The rail-enabled Aratere ferry will remain berthed in Wellington today pending clearance of the Wellington rail span.
The Capital Connection will operate today however the service will be bus replaced between Palmerston North and Wellington for the morning service.
Scenic Journeys services the TranzAlpine and Northern Explorer will operate as normal today. The Coastal Pacific remains cancelled due to significant track damage on the Main North Line.
A blocked culvert near Paekakariki means the Wellington passenger service between Plimmerton and Wellington will operate a half hourly timetable until further notice. KiwiRail staff will be onsite today to clear this as quickly as possible. Please check the Metlink website for the latest service information https://www.metlink.org.nz/
All other Wellington Metro lines are open and operating as normal.
This article first appeared on www.scoop.co.nz
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