Rail Tunnel Refurbishment Following the November 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake

Our presenter:

Rafael Sierra Ballen has worked as a construction manager for over thirty years in South America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand for major civil engineering projects as a tunnel design manager and a tunnel construction manager.

Topics Covered During this Presentation

From a standing start, following the largest ever recorded earthquake in New Zealand, a highly committed collaborative team, assessed the damage across twenty tunnels, designed the repairs in view of future resilience, and built a construction capability that delivered the works safely and on budget. Works trains were running again within 7 months, and commercial services within 10 months. In doing so, we reconnected communities at the top of New Zealand’s South Island.

Rafa will describe the logistical and technical challenges of refurbishing the rail tunnels in the context of the natural terrain hazards and landslides informed by his experiences of driving the quality and safety outcomes achieved.

Refreshment kindly sponsored by:





Refreshments (snacks and soft drinks) will be available from 17:30, and we will be continuing the discussion after the main event at the Lumsden Bar in Newmarket