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Angry East Coast residents have launched a last ditch attempt to keep their rail link after an announcement to close a route between Gisborne and Napier.
KiwiRail confirmed last week the service would close, saying the $4 million cost to repair the track after a storm in May was too expensive, as well as the $8 million a year to keep the line open.
However, supporters say the decision was based on inaccurate economic data, and they are taking it on themselves to raise cash for an independent economic analysis.
ampaign leader and Gisborne District city councillor Manu Caddie said the figures used for justifying the closure did not "stack up".
"We're confident that an independent report is going to show that the line is viable and there's good economic case to keep it open."
A Facebook page dedicated to rallying support has more than 900 members, and the campaign has raised $5000 in 24 hours.
Another $5000 would be needed to pay an independent company to analyse the viability of the service, which supporters say is an economic lifeline.
Gisborne resident Bob Hughes said it would be heart-breaking to see the rail close.
"I saw the first train come into Gisborne and I don't want to see the last," the 80-year-old said.
Labour East Coast list MP Moana Mackey said it was hoped the report would force the Government to intervene in KiwiRail's planned closure.
"If KiwiRail's figures are shown to be wrong, then the Government needs to step in and keep the line open."
Campaigners hoped the $10,000 needed for a review would be raised by Tuesday.
This article first appeared on tvnz.co.nz
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