So we’ve taken a couple of decisions over the last few days. The key decision that relates to this volume, Volume 6, is to do with the “Western Hutt Section”, which is our name for the original rail corridor from Petone to Haywards on the west bank of the Hutt River. Like the Rimutaka Incline Section, this has been closed for more than 65 years, but retains considerable historical significance, especially as there is so little to be found of it today.
We’ve relied on the 1939-41 historical coverage of this area from Retrolens, the key difficulty being that the 1939 coverage is nearly all in shadow and that from 1941 is of lower resolution. There is also coverage from 1951, which is at 1:7000 which is very good but being from Survey 570 that we currently don’t have access to, and may not for some considerable time, we’ve been unable to produce a good enough quality of aerial coverage for this section.
We have decided to spend a little time (not more than a day) adding 1957 aerial coverage that is of better quality than the other stuff for various reasons. Although of low resolution (1:32400) it does show up a lot of detail that isn’t visible today and will be useful for showing what the route looked like just after it closed. We are still keen to add the 1951 coverage whenever it becomes available, but having this coverage available will let us push on and publish these maps with the rest of Volume 6, and look at updating them at a later time.