Significant rainfall affects Main North Line

1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 13, 2017

Exceptionally high levels of rain in Kaikoura in recent weeks have affected the Main North Line rail link between Blenheim and Christchurch.

In September, the region experienced twice its usual average monthly rainfall, and in the first 10 days of October, there had already been 137mm of rain, compared with a usual average of 83mm for the month.

The unusually heavy rainfall caused 31 slips in the area, including three major slips that saw material come down onto the rail and road.

KiwiRail acting chief executive David Gordon says as a result, the Main North Line has closed temporarily while repair work is undertaken. At this stage services should be operating on the line again at the end of October.

Gordon says KiwiRail knew that with the early but limited re-opening of the Main North Line some disruption was possible, however it was disappointing that the re-opening coincided with high levels of rain, creating much greater disruption than could reasonably be predicted.