New Zealand Rail Maps Project Development Report – October 2021

Good morning and welcome to the New Zealand Rail Maps project development report for October 2021.

During the past month the main focus for the project has been on completing Volume 2, a very in depth process given the length of the most important of our main line corridors, between Auckland and Wellington. Sections finished and printed so far are:

  • Wellington Station to 4 km (Tunnel 1)
  • Linton to Longburn (125 km – 132 km)
  • Palmerston North Central section (the original main line through Palmerston North)
  • Aorangi to Taihape (151 km – 252 km)
  • Ohakune to Horopito (316 km – 327 km)

In addition to these the Hamilton to Horotiu section and the Pukekohe to Auckland section have been mapped, but not yet printed. So it can be seen about a quarter of the corridor has been fully mapped at this time. A good many other sections are in progress, currently as far north as National Park (around 346 km). General progress is as follows:

  • Wellington to Johnsonville (NIMT until 1937): Mostly mapped but not yet printed
  • Johnsonville to Porirua (part of it NIMT until 1937 and the rest currently in NIMT): Mosaics completed but not yet mapped.
  • Porirua to Plimmerton (original route deviated in 1960s): Mosaics completed and mapped.
  • Pukerua Bay to Linton: Mosaics currently under development
  • Linton to Bunnythorpe via Milson Deviation: Mosaics under development.
  • Taihape to Ohakune: Mosaics completed, currently being mapped.
  • Horopito to National Park: Mosaics completed.
  • National Park to Frankton: Not yet started.
  • Horotiu to Buckland: Not yet started.

Due to the progress being made, the Webmaps site for Volume 2 has been updated to show all the recent alterations and additions.

In other news, it has been decided to change the scope of the Volumes site significantly and it will not provide a system for directly viewing the image based maps online. Instead, they will be provided as archive sets available for download from the website for offline viewing on a user’s computer. This eliminates the need for the Project to create or maintain an image based site and makes it easier for users to download an entire collection of maps. It is likely the Stations site and the Volumes site will be amalgamated together although the exact format of this has yet to be confirmed.

In order to resource and support the project on line, a new Facegroup general discussion group was created. The project is also supporting a new forum on Redditt.

In the past month the Project has incorporated a significant amount of NIMT detail from Kiwirail’s own GIS shapefile layers that they have released under Creative Commons. The areas covered include the main line, all current yards in the completed areas, bridges, tunnels and km posts. This has enabled much faster map creation as it is no longer necessary to check and correct main line and yard track alignments as has been the issue in the past mainly with the Linz supplied layers, only the bridges and tunnels have been corrected from existing.