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Midland train line to open early

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017

The train line from Christchurch to Greymouth will reopen ahead of schedule, on March 20.

The Midland Line between Cass and Springfield was badly damaged during a 300 hectare fire in a remote part of the South Island in early February.

The fire damaged bridges, track and signal systems and affected services including the renowned TranzAlpine journey, plus coal and dairy freight services.

It was thought repairs would take at least six weeks, and KiwiRail had been expecting to re-open the line in early April.

"Our staff have worked incredibly hard and we should be ready to re-open the line earlier than that, exactly six weeks after the fire," group general manager Network Service Todd Moyle said.

"We are pleased that, through the efforts of our staff, the devastating impact of the fire on those services has been limited as much as possible," says Mr Moyle.

The line will open for freight initially, and the TranzAlpine service will resume soon after.

The TranzAlpine service was suspended during the repairs, which brings in an excess of $15 million in tourism revenue each year.

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