New Zealand Rail Maps Project Development Report – October 2022

During the month of October, steady progress has been made on the development of Volume 11 towards the intention of making that the next volume to be completed. Mosaic development is currently focused on the Otago Central Branch, now the Otago Central Rail Trail for the most part. This is an interesting aspect of map production as it was one of the first areas of the NZ Rail Maps project to be mapped using historical aerial photos when they were first able to be obtained cheaply, on having discovered the contact print collection of various aerial surveys held by Archives New Zealand in Wellington. Direct scans of these contact prints from Survey 1452 provided the first set of mosaics of the Cromwell Gorge section of the Otago Central Branch, for which there is a high level of historical interest due to the hydro development of the area causing almost all of the rail corridor to be submerged below the waters of Lake Dunstan. Volume 11 development has generally been slow for the last few months due to family circumstances affecting the project coordinator. There was a terminal development to these circumstances mid-month, which although bringing its own challenges (see below) has allowed work to be sped up significantly in the final week of the month, so that progress towards the end of the year is likely to catch up significantly on the backlog and missed milestones that have accumulated during 2022. It is still likely some of these milestones will have to be deferred into the new year and the actual completion of Volume 11 is now expected in the first quarter of 2023.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Sally Margaret Logan Dunford (9 October 1940 – 13 October 2022). Whilst not directly involved in NZRM, Sally provided significant material and moral support to the New Zealand Rail Maps project since its inception around 14 years ago, and will be greatly missed.