Project Diary 2019-09-24: Main South Line

The southern most section of the Main South Line, from Templeton to Burnham, for the Greater Christchurch maps, has been completed in a mosaic form, with eras of historical maps varying from the early 1940s through to the year 2000. We had only intended to go as far as Rolleston, but as Burnham is just south of there and did have its own railway siding into the army camp, it was decided there was no harm in including that stationb. Apart from Templeton, Rolleston and Burnham, this mosaic project also includes Weedons and Weedons Air Base Siding. The air base site was opened sometime in the 1940s and closed roughly 60 years later, but the last remaining storage hangar was only removed quite recently.
The current Linz aerial photos we have of Rolleston are too old to show the Port of Lyttelton inland port site details, and since Canterbury Maps have much more recent ones, we will endeavour to find some way we can use the more recent imagery.
Mosaics are mostly completed for the rest of the Main South Line but there is still a bit of work to be done on the Lyttelton-Heathcote section. The Hornby Industrial Line section to Lincoln has been mosaiced and we are currently doing research on this section from Archives New Zealand. What has still to be carried out is the overlaps between all of the different mosaic projects that are of continuous sections of the rail corridor. In general the MSL corridor is mapped as a continuous section from Heathcote to Islington, and the Hornby Industrial Line from Hornby (MSL junction) to Lincoln. For  practical purposes these continuous sections are divided into a number of different Gimp project files with small overlaps, usually a single column of Linz base tiles. This makes it possible to easily copy overlapping layers between Gimp projects so that the other layers in a project can be lined up with the overlaps; this means that when the tiles are all viewed together in Qgis, everything lines up nicely across all the different sections. In Qgis the tiles are grouped by station, so that the different eras of a station’s aerial photos can be turned on or off as the base imagery for each section of the maps. 
The local government elections in Christchurch are now underway and we await the results with interest. We believe that greater Government intervention in Christchurch is required to reorganise the planning focus of the city to designate the key rail corridors for their importance to urban development to get a full public transport focus for commuter rail in the city. The new city council will need to focus more on working with other bodies cooperatively and drop the previous council’s efforts to take over the public transport system which has been an unneeded distraction. Public transport should continue to be regionally organised with increased powers given to the regional council. The Government has been content to date to leave the business cases for commuter rail to be developed by the local authorities which is really just giving a nod to their fellow Labour Party members in those authorities rather than actually indicating a genuine intention to bring about the implementation of such a service.