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2019 - November - Headifen - Kaikoura Earthquake and Resilience on the Main North 2019 - November - Headifen - Kaikoura Earthquake and Resilience on the Main North Line featured_orange_star

The November 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake was the largest disaster to ever strike New Zealand’s railway in terms of amount of damage. Large parts of the Main North Line (MNL) Railway were engulfed in huge slips or thrown into the sea. Bridges were destroyed and tunnels broken. The damage to the railway and State Highways disconnected New Zealand’s transport system. The subsequent response and rebuild has challenged not just KiwiRail but New Zealand’s construction industry overall. It has resulted in the biggest rail project in the South Island of New Zealand since the Second World War.

As part of that project, the need for considering resilience has had to be faced. How this would be defined, the analysis undertaken to quantify it and the work done to achieve it are part of this paper. Some of the resilience factors considered are of international significance. These factors include analysis of tolerance to seismic and storm events as well as matching with required levels of service.

This paper will also outline some of the internationally award-winning works that have been undertaken on the railway to achieve reopening the line in only 10 months after the earthquake, despite been hit by several tropical cyclones during the reinstatement works. Improvements to service levels are also addressed.


Size2.78 MB
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AuthorDaniel Headifen
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Changed byNick Hughes

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