Railway line to Rangiora out till at least Monday

10:05 pm on 4 September 2010

KiwiRail says it will be Monday at the earliest before the rail track between Christchurch and Rangiora will be open again.

KiwiRail is arranging for trucks to shift freight on trains from Picton the final 80 kilometres to Christchurch. About five kilometres of track require work, particularly around Kaiapoi. The line south out of the city is open.


KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn says rail will play an important role in the coming days, weeks and months as the city cleans up from the quake.

He says KiwiRail has arranged to ship about 300,000 litres of drinking water into Christchurch overnight from Temuka.

Airport reopened: runways safe

Christchurch International Airport suffered no major damage in Saturday morning's earthquake. It closed for a period but reopened at about 1.30pm after a structural survey of its runways showed no damage.

The airport's chief executive, Jim Boult, says there is superficial damage in both terminal buildings, including cracked walls, collapsed ceilings and broken glass.

But the buildings are all structurally fine, he says, and 100% operational.

Hundreds of passengers were temporarily stranded by the airport closure.

Wharf damage at Lyttelton

There has been extensive damage to the wharves at Port of Lyttelton. Chief executive Peter Davie estimates repair costs will be in the millions of dollars.

Chief fire officer Mark Buckley says he understands the port's container terminal has been closed.

On the roads, full access in and out of Christchurch city via state highways was not affected. Civil Defence says the Lyttelton Tunnel was checked and reopened.

The Chaneys Road on-ramp onto State Highway 1 north of Christchurch was closed, as was State Highway 77 between Methven and Windwhistle in mid-Canterbury because of slips and drop-outs in the road surface.

Civil Defence says SH74 on the ring route around Christchurch was closed at Bromley due to damage.

Bridges damaged but all secure

Many minor bridges have been damaged but all major bridges are secure.

Two bridges across the Avon river - the Gloucester St bridge and Bridge St bridge - were closed and Civil Defence is looking at several other bridges because of cracks.

The old bridge over the Waimakariri River was closed but the motorway bridge is open.

Police are stressing that people should stay off the road if at all possible.