Coal trains disrupted to Port of Lyttelton

<p>Protesters have delayed two Solid Energy coal trains and forced cancellation of one train to the Port of Lyttelton, but export supply has not been disrupted.</p> <p>Two members of the Save Happy Valley Campaign dug underneath the sleeper lines and locked their hands to the line yesterday (Sunday, August 14). </p> <p>A third member hung 30 metres above the ground from a nearby tree with a support rope tied to the tracks.</p> <p>The protesters blocked the trains for five hours, protesting Solid Energy’s plan for an open-cast coal mine in Happy Valley on the West Coast.</p> <p>A train carrying 1,000 tonnes of coal was cancelled and the other two were delayed.</p> <p>Port of Lyttelton communications manager Sarah Aldworth said the incident would not disrupt exports.</p> <p>A shipment of coal is expected to be loaded on to the <em>Los Vilos </em> at 1945 hrs today without any problems.</p> <p>Solid Energy spokesperson Vicky Blyth said it lost NZ$200,000 ($183,000) because of the incident.</p> <p>The protesters were removed by about 20 police officers and face charges of trespass under the Railways Act.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the Forest and Bird Society is appealing the Environment Court’s consent to allow Solid Energy’s proposed open cast mine.</p> <br />