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Monday, August 2, 2021

Earthquake halts KiwiRail services

KiwiRail has reported that it has stopped all trains since the time of earthquake between Timaru and Picton, and on the West Coast. There are no reported injuries to staff or passengers.

The TranzAlpine service has been stopped at Greymouth and the return service has been cancelled. There are 231 passengers on board and KiwiRail are sourcing alternative accommodation for them as the state of the road and track is unknown.

TranzCoastal has been stopped at Picton with approximately 163 passengers. Again the service to Christchurch has been cancelled until the state of the track can be confirmed and arrangements are being made for these passengers too.

KiwiRail have announced that both the TranzAlpine and TranzCoastal services will not be running today (Tuesday).

Interislander services across Cook Strait are still operating as normal, although KiwiRail note that Civil Defence has asked people not to travel to Christchurch.

A coal train derailed at Heathcote with 7 wagons affected, but still upright. There were no injuries, and the train driver reported cracks in the Martindale Bridge, so the police could stop traffic.

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said initial track inspections had begun. Damage to track include:

  • Buckles in the Addington area
  • Buckles between Belfast and Rangiora
  • A slip on the city side of the Lyttelton Tunnel.

He added, “the welfare of our staff and their families as well as our passengers and other customers is our first priority.”


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