The NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail want to remind people living, working or travelling in the area between Blenheim and Christchurch that there is increased activity on the Main North Line with work trains operating day and night.
The rail corridor should be treated as ‘live’ at all times and anyone driving, walking or cycling in the region should expect work trains at any time, from either direction.
“Following November’s earthquake, the rail line was closed for repairs so people may have become complacent around the tracks,” says KiwiRail Group General Manager Network Services Todd Moyle.
“Work trains and track machines have been operating on parts of the line in recent months but with the track repairs coming together on 8 August the frequency of rail activity between Blenheim and Christchurch has increased.
“So people need to be careful.
“It’s important for anyone in the vicinity of the railway line to stay off the tracks and only cross at level crossings.”
Work trains are playing a vital role in the efforts to reinstate the transport networks between Blenheim and Christchurch.
KiwiRail recently announced that freight trains will be operating on the Main North Line soon which will bring economic benefits to the South Island and also help ease pressure on the alternate Picton to Christchurch highway route.
Key safety messages for pedestrians:
- Every time you’re near railway tracks, be alert.
- Only cross at formed pedestrian crossings or an overpass or underpass.
- Remove your headphones, stop and always look both ways for trains before crossing the tracks.
- Only cross if you are sure there are no trains in sight.
- Obey the warning signs at the crossing – if lights are flashing and bells are ringing it means a train is approaching.
- If a train has passed or is stationary at a station, always check both ways again to make sure another train is not coming. Two tracks might mean there is a second train.
Key safety messages for motorists and cyclists:
- Take extreme care when driving or riding over a railway level crossing.
- Obey the warning signs and look carefully in both directions for trains.
- Listen, be aware and pay careful attention to your surroundings.
- Always ensure there is space on the other side of the crossing for your vehicle before moving over the crossing.