In the past week or so, the main work on New Zealand Rail Maps has been focused in the area of the North Island Main Trunk railway. With the receipt of a fresh batch of aerial images believed to originate from a New Zealand Railways Corporation’s official corridor aerial survey of the central NIMT, dated from 1974, it has become possible to, as far as possible, draw a high resolution mosaic of what the Ohakune to Horopito section of the NIMT looked like in the decade before the major deviation was built in this section. This provides a good contrast with present day aerial imagery making it more straightforward to pin down the various changes that have occurred in this section and the ability to pinpoint these changes today. As well, the maps of the Raetihi Branch have been completed using various mosaics of 1940s and 1960s origin to fill in as much detail as can possibly be known about a branch line that closed more than 50 years ago.
As far the overall webmap development goes at the moment, work has been happening in Volume 2, covering the NIMT. This has been in the areas of Ohakune-Horopito, Marton and Palmerston North. The project wants to get all those areas working well but also wants to get Volume 7 (South Island West Coast) progressed as well. A schedule for the rest of 2023 is currently being looked into to try and get all of these different areas progressed. At this stage Ohakune and Marton should be finished by the end of this month. Volume 7 is a bit more challenging as it includes the Stillwater to Westport line and various other sections that were not in what started off as Volume 9 (Midland Line). The commitment is there for progress on the Midland Line parts but not as yet north/west of Stillwater.