Currently I am getting all the aerial imagery needed for Volume 1 (North Auckland Line). As we know from the history, until 1974 the NAL started at Newmarket and from there ran just over 181 miles to Opua. With metrication and changes in designations, the junction was shifted back to Westfield, but Opua remained the terminus, now almost 300 km away. Most of the aerials were downloaded a couple of weeks ago and I now have to go through them to select the ones needed and overlap the various 0.1m and 0.4m layers into the GIS.
For the start of mapping this line I will be doing the topmost two lines, the Opua-Kawakawa line (Bay of Islands Vintage Railway) and the Okaihau Branch. These lines are joined at Otiria, which is currently the terminus of the North Auckland Line. Both sections closed to traffic in the mid 1980s but the BOIVR (initially the Bay of Islands Scenic Railway) took over Opua-Kawakawa and continue to operate it to this day, whilst the Okaihau branch was lifted.
The Bay of Islands Scenic Railway had a troubled start and closed down and was re-opened as BOIVR, however the Far North District Council (a National-leaning administration) forced them to hand over the terminus at Opua for a marina construction and therefore it is no longer possible for trains to reach the wharf, the same council also pushed through use of part of the remaining corridor that BOIVR had then mothballed (due to a bridge repair project) to be converted to a cycle way. Work is now proceeding on reinstating the rail line to a new terminus just south of Opua. The short section of line from Otiria to Kawakawa was mothballed and then lifted, but may be reinstated in the future.
The Okaihau Branch ran from Otiria to Okaihau via Kaikohe. It is the most northern railway line in NZ and was planned to reach Kaitaia. Work beyond Okaihau to Rangiahua continued into the early 1930s, but was closed down by the government in 1936. The tunnel under the main street of Okaihau and the former station platform and loading bank at Rangiahua are the most visible signs remaining signs of this work.
We have NZR surveys of Okaihau, Kaikohe, Otiria, Moerewa, Kawakawa and Opua and these will be the map mosaics initially developed. Further south there are also NZR surveys of Whangarei (including Kamo and the Port), Portland, Waiotira, Wellsford, Helensville and Waitakere, and non-NZR surveys of Kumeu, Oakleigh and Waimauku. At this stage I don't know what the order is for these, or how many of them will be done in the initial stages. At the moment I am just focusing on getting all the aerial photos from Linz for all the routes and just starting with the top two lines.