The Hawke's Bay Regional Council has been told that re-establishing a rail connection between Napier and Wairoa is feasible.
The line between Napier and Gisborne has been mothballed since 2012 but the council has earmarked $5.5 million of investment to reopen it.
A business case presented to the council this morning argued that opening the Napier-Wairoa part of it could be funded by log transportation from Wairoa to the port of Napier.
The business case said that could be sustained for at least 30 years, although it adds there are many outstanding matters yet to be resolved with KiwiRail over leasing the line.
It said no business case can be finalised until there is agreement with KiwiRail.
KiwiRail set a deadline of 1 March for a full business case to be presented, but today's report said that was unrealistic and a deadline of 30 June would be better.