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Thousands of people have marched in support of Gisborne maintaining a rail link with Napier this morning.
Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon lead the march today in a bid to convince KiwiRail how important the threatened Napier to Gisborne rail line is.
The line was washed out in several places during a storm three weeks ago, and the rails are now hanging in mid-air.
And now state owned KiwiRail is considering closing the route after revelations repair work could top $4 million.
The Mayor of Gisborne said he is confident KiwiRail will see a future for the damaged railway line between Napier and Gisborne.
The march began at 11am at the old Post Office in Grey Street.
A diverse crowd walked to the railway station singing "we've been working on the rail road".
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KiwiRail said it will have to be convinced keeping it open is profitable before it will commit to the five month repair job.
Foon said there is strong support in his city for fixing the link.
"We're fortunate that we've had some major activity in terms of freight transport on the rail during Christmas and the harvest season. That was a good start, and projections are actually pretty good."
Foon said he is prepared to approach the Government for more funding if it is required. But Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee refused to say whether they would cover the cost of repairing the link.
The future of the line has been in question for several years, with KiwiRail considering mothballing it even before the latest slips.
The line has no more than two train services a week and runs at a loss of more than $2 million a year.
But people who live on the isolated east coast are adamant the rail link is vital. They say the recent storms have highlighted its importance after slips closed parts of State Highway Two and the Waioeka Gorge.
Locals have also signed a petition calling for Government to "save our rail".
KiwiRail says its feasibility study will take at least two weeks.
-With Newstalk ZB
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