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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