New Zealand rail rescue service

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Plasser & Theurer’s MFS system of conveyor and hopper units has been put to the test in the Manawatu Gorge on New Zealand’s North Island. Following a landslide, 60 metres of tracks were buried under 10,000m3 of material. The only way to remove it was with a rake of six MFS 40-6 wagons, with a combined capacity of 240m3.

Rail services through the gorge were suspended at the end of September after a freight train hit the debris and derailed. The locomotive was rescued within hours but access constraints in the remote area meant that the job of clearing the line proved far more time-consuming. Abseilers used explosives to loosen material at the top of the slip, bringing it safely down to track level for removal.