The crane moving the derailed train back on to the track at Masterton station on Monday. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER

ELISA VORSTER
elisa.vorster@age.co.nz

A passenger train that derailed in Masterton on Sunday was successfully lifted back on to the tracks on Monday after a crane was brought in to complete the job.

It took 45 minutes to set up the crane correctly, but this didn’t deter eager train enthusiasts, young and old, as they watched the group of engineers attach chains to the front of the train, thought to weigh more than 100 tons.

The passenger train, which included the locomotive and several passenger carriages, derailed in the Masterton yard on Sunday afternoon as it was travelling to Masterton station to collect passengers.

No passengers were on the train at the time.

It was the first day back at work for many Wairarapa commuters who found services were able to continue with a bus replacement between Renall St and Masterton Station.

A Masterton man, who did not want to be named, said he drove past around 4pm on Sunday, not long after the derailment occurred and saw two men looking underneath the train trying to ascertain what had happened.

The man said an engineer on site told him the train was being pulled backwards so it could be towed back into the yard when it got pulled off the line.

He thought the high temperatures could have affected the tracks and caused the derailment.

However, KiwiRail lower North Island operations manager Anthony Mills, said a track fault was identified as the likely cause of the derailment and investigations were continuing.

“Teams are now replacing some of the track and it is expected that normal services will be able to resume [Monday].”