Over the past ten days work has progressed on detailing and producing the maps of the mainline section of the Midland Line. Towards the end of last week progress reached Springfield at 48 km from Rolleston, therefore a total of 345 maps were produced over five days for 46 km of actual track distance. In the process of detailing the aerial mosaics were updated for several of the intermediate stations in this section and new content was added into the maps for each of these stations. On reaching Springfield it was similarly determined aerial mosaics needed updating and this work has been progressed but has temporarily slowed over the past few days due to other one-off time commitments. These mosaics are now being finished today and will be incorporated into the maps which will be produced in another day or two. Because of the delayed schedule in pushing ahead with the maps out to at least Otira, consideration is being given to pausing any further content reviews from Springfield through to Arthurs Pass since the imperative is to have Otira reached by the end of this present week. As long as the maps are produced right through to Otira by July 21 then content reviews for the Springfield to Arthurs Pass exclusive section can be continued and the produced maps updated as needed. The rest of the maps from Otira to Greymouth would then be produced. This will also allow time to obtain any additional aerial photos for Springfield-Arthurs Pass that have not already been incorporated into mosaics produced to date.
It is imperative to have the maps produced to Otira so that they are available in conjunction with tunnel centenary celebrations in August, however a proposed field trip for NZRM to test out the maps on the Midland Line route has currently been postponed and might not take place until next year. This would enable both the produced maps and GPX file to be tested out and any desirable corrections incorporated into the final release on the project’s website. NZRM has contributed to the production of a historical book about Otira that is being released around the same time as the Otira Tunnel centenary; the Project’s work is not a part of the commemorations but the produced Volume 7 maps will be available from this website as a reference to those visiting Otira on the weekend of the centenary.