Coastal Pacific Rail still closed

Kiwi Rail has been having a bad time with the two South Island scenic railways closed. However, the TranzAlpine opened on Thursday with 260 passengers. See West Coast rail to open again in recent news.

Meanwhile, the Coastal Pacific route from Picton to Christchurch closed after the earthquake in Kaikoura in Novermber last year and will take about a year to repair. There is major damage – twisted rail lines, some rail lines in the sea, fallen rocks blocking rail tunnels, and at least one broken bridge. A temporary bridge has been built south of Kaikoura so that trains can bring heavy equipment from Christchurch closer to help repair the damage.

Trains could only travel a short distance from Picton as far as Lake Grassmere, less than one hour away. From Christchurch, trains could travel about 2 hours. This leaves about 300km in the middle where the line is completely blocked. So there are no trains at the moment except a few trains carrying repair workers and machinery.

The road too is badly damaged. Workers trying to repair the road and rail are working long hours from Kaikoura.

Kiwi Rail is losing a lot of money while the railway is closed. This is a very popular tourist route with wonderful scenery as much of this route follows the coast line with wild ocean views. It is also an important freight route with 1 million tonnes of freight carried by rail each year before the Kaikoura earthquake. The train links with the Inter Island ferry between the North and South Islands. A lot of this freight is now carried by coastal ships.

Go to Coastal Pacific to see some of the scenery on that coastal route.

One Comments

  1. It could be much better if do not type while reading the text!

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