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Increased Train Movements Near Ashburton

KiwiRail is advising drivers and pedestrians to avoid travelling down Fairfield Rd, near Ashburton, at certain times of day over the coming months.

From 8 April, freight trains will be moving wagons across the road between 9.30am and 10:30am every morning and between 8:45pm - 9:30pm and 1:30am - 2:15am at night. At these times the level crossing on Fairfield Road will be blocked for up to 10 minutes as wagons are positioned to be loaded at the new Fairfield Freight Hub.

KiwiRail General Manager Future State Freight Mark Heissenbuttel says for about seven months locomotives will have to shunt wagons across the Fairfield Road level crossing, as part of daily work putting together freight trains for the hub.

“KiwiRail is redesigning how the signals in the area work, which will resolve the issue, but it is expected to take until October for the new system to be operational. To avoid having to wait at the crossing, until then we recommend people avoid using Fairfield Road at specific times.

“For those who have to use Fairfield Road at these times, we urge you to be patient. Any interaction with trains is potentially dangerous and people need to be vigilant when approaching any level crossing. Always be prepared to stop and always obey the signs or pay attention to flashing lights and bells.”

The Fairfield Road level crossing is equipped with flashing lights and bells and barrier arms.

Mr Heissenbuttel says the new freight hub is a great benefit to Ashburton and the wider Canterbury region and it has also significantly reduced the need for shunt movements across level crossings in the centre of town.

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“This means people in Ashburton won’t need to wait for trains shunting across level crossings.

“People may have become used to trains moving slowly through town and they may have crossed the tracks in front of stationary trains.

“it is important for people to recognise that most trains will now be travelling at normal speed (80km) and they should never attempt to cross the tracks until the train has passed.”

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