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Rail services getting back on track

Published: 7:04PM Saturday September 04, 2010 Source: NZPA/Newstalk ZB

All rail services in the Christchurch area are likely to be restored by tomorrow, following repairs to damage caused by Saturday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

The main south line, south from Christchurch, has reopened with a 40kmh speed restriction and 25kmh restriction on bridges between Christchurch and Ashburton, KiwiRail public affairs manager Kevin Ramshaw said this morning.

The Midland Line, west of Otira in the Southern Alps, was open and the line between Otira and Christchurch was expected to open this afternoon, again with speed restrictions.

Freight traffic was expected to resume this afternoon and the Tranz Alpine to run from tomorrow.

North of Christchurch, the main north line, which sustained four kilometres of damage in the Kaiapoi area including damage to the abutments of one bridge, was expected to reopen tomorrow.

In the meantime, freight was being off-loaded at Rangiora and moved the 30km into Christchurch by road, Ramshaw said.

Tranz Coastal passenger services were expected to resume between Christchurch and Picton on Wednesday. 

Setback in restoring power

However, Canterbury residents could have electricity woes for days and weeks to come with 4,000 people still without power in the region.

Lines company Orion said it aimed to reduce that to 1,000 by tonight.

Chief executive Roger Sutton said new outages caused by high winds and cable faults would make this target challenging but staff were still trying to meet it.

He said more faults were expected in the coming days and weeks because of the fragile nature of parts of the network.

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  • gordy said on 2010-09-09 @ 13:59 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Im my 51 years on this earth I have never felt so first thoughts was we had been hit by a nuclear bomb and it was Armageddon. Never ever want to experience it again

  • schicken said on 2010-09-08 @ 19:15 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I thought the same thing initially. However, another quake big enough to close or shift the cracks further is likely to be heard first and all the kids will most likely be fine. If a child does get swallowed up, I'm probably not going to have huge empathy for the media coverage or their parents, but until then, let the region have a little bit of fun. Education about health risks regarding contaminated water may be a good idea for all. :)

  • thinkaboutit said on 2010-09-06 @ 23:06 NZDT: Report abusive post

    More great coverage tonight TVNZ especially highlighting the situation at individual community levels where people reported they felt abandoned. All credit to those organising themselves into community working groups at this level despite this. Arguably the recovery process would be greatly enhanced if these community groups were psychologically and practically supported by establishing official coordination centres at individual community levels.

  • Madeleine Ware said on 2010-09-06 @ 17:31 NZDT: Report abusive post

    You're making some good points here. Perhaps some of the donations could be towards purchasing and setting up storage of these sorts of things. Individuals are also responsible for making their own preparations. I clean and keep old 3L juice bottles filled with water. Every now and then I water my house plants with one and refill it to refresh it.

  • Madeleine Ware said on 2010-09-06 @ 17:25 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Why are they buying water? Aren't there several tankers about the city giving it away?