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Freight rail services resume after quake

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/01/2017

The first rail freight delivery between Blenheim and Lake Grassmere, near Seddon, has been made since the earthquake that destroyed large sections of track.

KiwiRail says crews worked tirelessly through the holiday period to get the section of track up and running again.

"There were more than 50 medium scale faults along that section of the track and a lot of twisted and broken rail to fix," says chief executive Peter Reidy.

"There is still considerable danger to our crews due to the ongoing seismic activity but we are using the latest technology, and the considerable skill of our workforce, to complete restoration work as quickly and safely as possible."

Coastal shipping services have been in place since the 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura quake last November knocked out rail services.

While the re-opened section is only small, Mr Reidy expects progress to be made each week, and the full line will open "in the fastest time possible".

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