Work on maps recently has been undertaken in the area of Taneatua, which is part of Volume 3. Aerials of Taneatua Station obtained some time ago were used to create a comprehensive set of maps from the old Taneatua overbridge as far as the station yard. This also included the Peketahi combined bridge in part, however further sections of the Taneatua Branch and the rest of Volume 3 will have to wait as it is not currently a priority for work in coming months.
Volume 2 at the south end (NIMT at Paerata) is currently having some mosaics made to show where deviations took place prior to 1942. It appears likely these deviations probably date from the doubling works carried out in this section of the NIMT in the 1930s. This is a response to an inquiry recently received from a Facebook group. The section from Paerata going south from Paerata towards Tuakau is also being mosaiced for the same reason – this is partly the northernmost extent of Volume 2 on the NIMT. Again, these areas are not a high priority at the present time. The definition of Volume 2 has been updated by adding the Pokeno-Paeroa rail corridor to it, estimated to be about 40 km in length, and shifting the junction between Volumes 1 and 2 slightly further south to Pukekohe, making Volume 1 an estimated 532 km and Volume 2 an estimated 508 km of corridor – the major change to Volume 1 is to shift the Glenbrook and Waiuku Branches into it, about 25 km of corridor in total.
The highest priority is currently being given to Volume 6 which covers the southern end of the North Island. When the volumes were redefined earlier this year, the previous extent of Volume 6 which then covered mainly the Wairarapa Line was extended by adding the NIMT between Wellington and Bunnythorpe. This volume now also includes the Palmerston North Gisborne Line all the way from Palmerston North to Woodville – about 27.5 km – previously the PNGL was only included as far as Whakarongo on the outskirts of Palmerston North; this means the full Wairarapa Line can be included right to Woodville instead of Woodville Station being in Volume 5. Volume 5 has been updated to add the Matawai to Taneatua corridor (part only) which adds an unestimated corridor length to Volume 5 and should bring it to just over 500 km.
The main change therefore to Volume 6 is the addition of the NIMT from Wellington to Palmerston North and the PNGL from Palmerston North to Woodville, and these two sections in particular comprise practically all of the uncompleted work in this volume. This also lets work resume on completing the lines around Palmerston North which was last worked some 12 months ago. Most of what is needed in this part of Volume 6 is to document especially the Porirua to Tokomaru section of NIMT and the Manawatu Gorge section of PNGL. The Foxton branch is another corridor that work is needed on although it will be limited due to the era in which the line closed, before much comprehensive aerial coverage was available. It is therefore expected that Volume 6 will be the first of the four volumes 6,7,8,9 to be completed in 2024.
Work is also being undertaken to obtain bulk surveys of mainline rail corridors for Volumes 6,7,8 and 9 to correspond with the work programme for the coming year. It is planned to send the first request away in the coming week. Additional disk storage is needed in the project’s computers to store these surveys until they are required for use, and steps are being taken to facilitate this over the next month. It is estimated around 2 TB of storage additions will be needed for the 50 available corridor surveys which have been scanned into the Crown Aerial Film Archive by Linz, and more still for highway and station surveys which haven’t been totally quantified as yet. By the end of the year 3 TB of additional local disk storage will be available but it is not yet certain how long it will take to get all of the bulk surveys. The Project will also have the use of 500 GB of cloud storage available by the end of this year, which is being used to store project file and finished mosaic tile backups.
Work also continues on getting ready for updating the webmaps with the addition of the newly redrawn volume boundaries and adding a few more stations to the webmaps at the lowest zoom level. This means webmaps are on schedule for a capture update at the end of this year.