6 Dec 2010

Fires briefly close rail line near National Park

8:29 pm on 6 December 2010

A blaze in the central North Island forced the closure of the Main Trunk rail line on Monday, with Overlander passengers continuing their journey by bus.

Four fires started about 1pm on Monday in grass and tussock near the Raurimu Spiral rail loop and State Highway 4, between National Park and Taumarunui.

KiwiRail says the north-bound Overlander, was forced to stop at National Park.

Passengers continued their journey by bus.

At least two of the fires have been controlled and Fire Service crews have withdrawn from the site, leaving Department of Conservation fire officers to deal with the remaining fires.

KiwiRail says night time freight services are not affected.

A total of 35 firefighters, two helicopters and 12 fire engines have been involved in the firefighting operation.