Hawke's Bay Regional Council is entering into contractual negotiations with KiwiRail to re-establish a Napier- Wairoa rail link, the council said today.
HBRC has completed a feasibility study on a proposed log freight rail service.
A statement this morning said following a public excluded meeting on 20 April, the regional council decided to enter negotiations with KiwiRail for the rail company to operate a log freight service between Wairoa and Napier on behalf of HBRC.
HBRC will also be negotiating with customers who could benefit from a rail service through to Napier and the port. The funding of track maintenance would be the responsibility of the regional council.
"The Council has taken into consideration the large quantities of timber coming from forest harvesting in the Wairoa District over the next two decades," council chairman Fenton Wilson said.
"We will be expecting a return on our investment over the life of the resumed service."
The rail connection was mothballed in December 2012 following major washouts on the line, and the subsequent cost of repairs.
Following this, in 2014, HBRC allocated $5.46 million to potentially underwrite a freight service.