A plan to run rail-bikes along the abandoned tracks from Bangalow to Byron Bay has received enthusiastic support from Byron Shire mayor, Simon Richardson, who posed for promotional pictures in Byron Bay on the weekend.
A written proposal is now being prepared for the Casino to Murwillumbah rail trail. It comes after the recent announcement from NSW Trade & Investment, which is calling for expressions of interest (EOI).
Mary-Joy Lu and Alex Catchpoole from Rail Explorers say they have been working on their pedal-powered rail-bike proposal for the past two years and last weekend put their rail bike on display in Byron Bay.
They said close to 400 signatures of support were collected; they aim to preserve the tracks between Bangalow and Byron and build a rail trail beside the tracks.
No detailed feasibility work
Alex says, ‘There has been a knee-jerk response from some that it has to be either the bike trail or the tracks, particularly between Bangalow and Byron, but the truth is that no detailed feasibility work has been done to make that call.’
He says they are investigating how difficult it would be and how expensive it would be to build the trail next to the tracks in this area.
‘For Rail Explorers the infrastructure is there. Yes, it needs clearing and some major repairs, but it doesn’t have to be replaced. Rail Explorers are planning to fund the track repair for our operations from Bangalow to Byron, and this would free up a significant amount from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund for the trail. We believe there will be a cost- effective way for the rail trail to work alongside the tracks.’
For more visit www.RailExplorers.com.au.