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Look out for daytime trains between Picton and Christchurch


For the first time since the November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, daytime freight trains are running on the Main North Line railway between Picton and Christchurch.

School communities near the Picton to Christchurch railway line are being asked to spread the word about watching out for trains during daytime.

Expect trains at any time between Picton and Christchurch.

Over the past year, KiwiRail has run a restricted schedule, with trains only running only at night, to allow work to continue to repair the damaged road and rail line during the day. So while the start of daytime freight services marks a milestone in the earthquake recovery effort, it’s a good time to remind people to expect trains at any time from either direction.

Teachers, students, and their families living near or travelling over the rail line between Picton and Christchurch may have become used to the lack of daytime trains on the tracks and level crossings since the earthquake. So they’re now being reminded to take extra care to ensure they and their loved ones stay safe.

Some key messages for school communities:

  • Always expect trains, at any time, from either direction
  • If you are in a car, always slow down as you’re approaching a level crossing and be prepared to STOP
  • Look out for trains at all times, and obey signs and signals
  • Stay off railway tracks and only ever cross the railway at approved railway level crossing points.

Videos for school use

Video for secondary schools (via Facebook)(external link)

KiwiRail has created a Facebook video of their train drivers talking about the thoughts and feelings they have when level crossing users aren’t aware of the train. You may want to watch this first to make sure it’s suitable for your students.

Video for primary schools (via Facebook)(external link)

KiwiRail has created a Facebook video featuring some of their train drivers being interviewed by children.

Curriculum resources

Flexible lesson plans written by Pam Hook are free for teachers to download and use. Aimed at Years 1-8, these integrate English, Maths, Science and Social Sciences. The theme is that citizens work together to create safe journeys for everyone around the electrified rail network.

Rail safety curriculum resources

Look for posters, fliers and more information on the TrackSAFE NZ website.

TrackSAFE(external link)

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