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Published on : Wednesday, September 6, 2017
After 10 months of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which devastated the railway lines between Picton and Christchurch, will open its first freight services to run again next Friday, after that the passenger train will also be on line.
The first train from Picton to Christchurch will run during the day and after that it will run as a low-frequency night service.
KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy said that getting freight rolling again on the earthquake damaged railway line is a great result that has been made possible by the engineers and a team of New Zealand engineers from all over the country.
He said there is still a lot of work to be done before the railway line is returned to its pre-quake state, but opening it to freight allows rebuilding of the road and further work on the line to continue.
Peter Reidy says the return of freight services will be marked with celebrations in Christchurch and Kaikoura as the first train travels down the line.
Before the November 14, 2016 earth quake, one million tons of freight moved along the route every year.
Peter Reidy also said that the limited re-opening will also take pressure off the inland route, which has been the main route to shift freight south since the earthquake.
Later, this railway lines will enable to take tourists from Picton to Christchurch.
The Government of New Zealand and NCTIR have repeatedly vowed to have it reopened by this Christmas.