KiwiRail is reminding the public to stay well clear of all railway tracks, tunnels and bridges following reports that people have been accessing and trespassing on railway land between Picton and Christchurch.
KiwiRail Group General Manager Network Services Todd Moyle says KiwiRail bridges, tunnels and tracks on the Main North Line have been significantly damaged from the earthquake and are unsafe.
“We are taking this issue seriously because anyone entering the rail corridor is putting themselves in serious danger.
“Even our staff, who are familiar with the area, are not entering tunnels or crossing bridges without a safety plan in place and continuous monitoring from our team.
“It is also important people understand that although the Main North Line is closed to rail services, there will still be work trains, tampers and hi-rail vehicles operating as part of the recovery.
“We strongly advise people refrain from entering any railway land. It is not only incredibly dangerous, but illegal under the Railways Act and trespassers can be fined.”
Manager of rail safety charitable trust TrackSAFE NZ Megan Drayton says most railway deaths in New Zealand and around the world occur from people trespassing.
“These behaviours put people at severe risk at any time, but even more so when the environment is compromised by our recent earthquakes.”
Anyone who witnesses members of the public crossing tracks or entering tunnels or bridges should report it to KiwiRail on 0800 808 400 or the Police on 111.