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Aratere back sailing after Kaikoura quake

Media Release

28 November 2016

Aratere back sailing after Kaikoura quake

KiwiRail’s InterIslander ferry Aratere will resume sailing Cook Strait from first thing tomorrow (Tuesday November 29) after the linkspan at Wellington’s Ferry Terminal, used to load and discharge vehicles was damaged during the Kaikoura quake a fortnight ago.

KiwiRail’s Chief Executive Peter Reidy said this was an important next step for the improved movement of freight and passengers between the North and South Islands.

“We now have all three of our ferries back on Cook Strait which is a real boost to our freight customers and to tourists and visitors heading to and from Picton.

“The Aratere is returning ahead of what we had planned for. We expect rail freight will be able to be loaded next week.”

Interislander Operations Manager Mark Thompson said the earlier than expected return of the Aratere was the result of repairs to the linkspan being ahead of schedule, though the rail linkspan, which allows rail freight to be loaded, was still to be fixed.

The first sailing, scheduled to leave Wellington at 6am, will be a freight-only sailing.

The first passenger sailing will be the 5.45pm sailing from Wellington.

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