KiwiRail says it could take a further two weeks to fully assess reinstatement options for the section of the Napier- Gisborne railway line extensively damaged by heavy rain in the region last week.
The line through the Wharerata ranges just south of Beach loop was hardest hit, with the deluge causing three major washouts along a four kilometre stretch.
Chief executive Jim Quinn says the scale of damage particularly at the largest wash out meant there was considerable work to be done to understand repair options.
“We are dealing with large areas of unstable ground which mean there is a range of engineering options that need to be examined and evaluated.“
It is critical that KiwiRail fully understood all the options to be sure about the costs and time-frames, he says.
“We know there are a lot of people anxious to know what we plan to do, but it is critical that we make an informed decision. Our approach will be to ensure that we have that complete understanding of what it will take to repair the line and how much it would cost, before we make any decisions or any comments on the way forward.”
Meanwhile the rail line is open and operating between Napier and Wairoa and KiwiRail will continue to liaise with customers in the Gisborne and Hawkes Bay regions about and what services it can continue to offer in the interim, Mr Quinn says.