The East Coast's mayors will meet for a final push to decide the fate of the defunct Napier-Gisborne railway line.
Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon has called the meeting, which doesn't yet have a set date, but is planned to take place within the next two weeks.
"The time has come to make use of this rail corridor as an economic contributor to our region," Mr Foon said.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little, Napier Mayor Bill Dalton, Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule and Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC) chairman Fenton Wilson will also attend the conference.
The rail line has been dormant since it suffered storm damage two-and-a-half years ago. The National Government earlier indicated it would not fund its repair.
But Napier Gisborne Railway chairman Don Selby said he was still confident $10million to $12million could be raised from private investors, and the HBRC had also earmarked $5.4 million for the project.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said he hoped the leaders would be able to reach an agreement on the issue. "We've got to take the passion out of it and look at the reality. I think it's a chance to talk about it, agree on something and then take it out to the community -- do a public consultation and let them have their input."
Mr Little said he believed the chances of the rail line reopening were "pretty unlikely".
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule was also sceptical about reviving the rail line.
"The National Government has indicated they won't contribute, and they're now back in power with a strong mandate. At the end of the day the fact the Government doesn't want it to happen, the fact KiwiRail doesn't seem to want it to happen -- that makes me think it isn't viable.
"After the meeting we'll have a major public consultation to see what happens next, because I don't see it being much use in limbo as it is.
"We either keep it open or effectively shut it, spend the money on the road and open a cycleway." Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said he'd be "delighted" to see the rail line reopened, "but we live in a commercial world".
"If the Government is not prepared to support it, private industry needs to support it. I think the meeting's got to get at the best use of the rail corridor that may be." Mr Dalton agreed the issue should be opened to public consultation after the meeting, providing it was effective. "The consultation needs to have some surety. If we don't give some direction to the consultation we'll be batting it around for the next 20 years."
Napier Labour MP Stuart Nash, who advocated the rail line's reopening as part of his election campaign this year, said he would ask the mayors if he could attend the meeting, "if it's appropriate".
"I'd like to see a business case that goes to Government that presents the railway line as a vital piece of East Coast infrastructure."
Mr Nash maintained reopening the rail line was "a very sound economic proposition".