KiwiRail, the New Zealand Transport Agency, and NZ Post have come together to release six limited edition commemorative stamps dedicated to the tremendous efforts of earthquake recovery workers. The stamps depict a new seven-span bridge over Irongate Stream; Geotech teams and abseilers working off the cliffs; moving landslides; the construction of seawalls. KiwiRail's specialised work trains and the first freight train after the Main North Line reopened.
1700 people worked for over 2 million hours to achieve unbelievable tasks after the earthquake. The recovery team worked tirelessly to reopen the State Highway 1 within just 13 months. They were also responsible for achieving the impossible feat of connecting South Island which had shifted from its original position after the disaster. The Main North Line railway was restored to allow freight trains within just 10 months. Kaikoura Harbour was reopened within just 11 months.
The postal services were also affected due to the calamity and a chartered aircraft was used to restore mail and courier services to Kaikoura. The longer inland route was not suitable for a high volume of traffic. The alternative route between Picton and Christchurch was much longer. There was a need to redesign the transport network to maintain connections with the North Island and the South Island within a short period of time. While the roadways and railways were being restored with the help go North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance, traffic kept moving on alternate routes.
Image Courtesy: New Zealand post