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KiwiRail says a significant section of the earthquake-damaged main north line has been reinstated, and the track from Picton to Grassmere is now repaired.
It also said designs for six bridges along the route, which was hit by the Kaikoura quake in November, were nearing completion.
Network services general manager Todd Moyle said more than 100 staff, consultants and contractors had worked up to and through the holiday period fixing twisted track, inspecting and redesigning replacement bridges and tunnels, and getting the first part of the line, from Picton south, workable again.
‘‘While there are no major slips in that area, there were more than 50 medium-scale faults on the line and the track had been shifted sideways in many sections along the network.’’