Palmerston North Gisborne Line [0D]: Volume 5 Progress Update 4

Again it’s some time since we blogged about the PNGL and the Volume 5 maps, a year in actuality. We are planning to work on getting Volume 5 finished in 2020 along with all the other volumes but the timeframe when this work will actually be done has not yet been scheduled within 2020.
This post is largely inspired by the release of BERL’s comprehensive research report into the work needed to reinstate the Wairoa to Gisborne section of the PNGL which closed in 2012. The report was released last week and is available online at
We welcome the publication of a report that is extremely detailed and comprehensive in analysing the work needed to reopen the line and weatherproof it for long term resilience. This is far more credible than anything produced by any of the various ginger groups and armchair lobbyists to date. It is now estimated that reinstating the line will cost up to $23 million and there will be additional works needed to achieve the desired goals over the subsequent decade costing an estimated $13 million. 
The report has a number of sections that detail all of the expected works needed over the line which is very comprehensive in nature. It will be interesting to see how the contents are handled by Kiwirail and the government. The biggest issue is always going to be whether the freight volume assessments are credible over the long term.
We will have a look into the report in more detail next year along with the update and completion of Volume 5 which will include additional historical aerial maps. It now looks like an NZR corridor survey is available for the entire route and there may also be additional station surveys that we have not yet accessed for some stations. The section of the PNGL in the Manawatu is still going to be limited by the non-availability at present of Horizons Regional aerial coverage.