A long-serving Hawke's Bay councillor says the outlook for the Napier to Gisborne rail link was good, until bad weather caused damage estimated at more than $4 million.
Hastings councillor Kevin Rose has joined calls for the Government to make sure the line is repaired.
He says freight volumes have been increasing, and the future was looking good.
"I know it's still below the level where it's viable and economic, but there appears to be considerable growth going forward. I think it would be a tragedy to have the rug pulled from under their feet at the present time."
Mr Rose says depriving the East Coast of such a vital link would be a tragedy.
The potential tourism value of the rail link between Gisborne and Napier is being mooted as a good reason to get it back up and running.
KiwiRail wants to look at the economic viability of the route before making a decision.
Regional Councillor Kevin Rose says the link travels through some beautiful scenic countryside.
"Going forward there's possibilities there for tourism which I think is quite immense. I've spoken to people from overseas who've travelled that line and they say it's as good as anything you get in the world."
Mr Rose says the volume of freight carried on the link has been increasing, and the outlook was for further growth.