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An investigation is underway following a large derailment near Palmerston this morning.
A southbound freight train with 20 wagons - including meat product and by-product - derailed around 5am.
Nine wagons derailed and remain on their side, with a crane arriving shortly to re-rail them, a KiwiRail spokeswoman said.
The driver - the only person on board - was uninjured in the incident, the cause of which was still to be investigated, she said.
Track damage meant the main trunk line would be closed for 24 hours, affecting around a dozen services.