Damon Mitchell, Uki
I just want to commend Tweed Valley Mayor Barry Longland and Cr Gary Bagnall (and others) for showing great vision in supporting the concept of a cycling/walking trail on the disused Murwillumbah to Casino railway line. I think this has huge tourism potential and will bring great benefits and business opportunities such as bike hire and shuttle bus services, B&Bs, cafes etc to the region. It will also offer locals a healthy and safe way to get between towns and villages.
While I can sympathise with the people out there who would prefer to have the trains back, the windy twisty old line, while scenic, would be just too slow for a modern commuter train service.
I’m a regular user the of the GC to Brisbane train which has long straight sections that allow the trains to reach speeds of 140km/h, making this a well used service and a more viable alternative to driving. If we want trains down this way then maybe a new straighter line could be built from Queensland alongside the highway.
The cost of building and maintaining the rail trail would be offset by the benefits it would bring to the region. Sixty thousand people a year were climbing Mt Warning – I think we could easily get twice that on the rail trail. The old rails and sleepers could be sold for scrap further offsetting the cost.
Finally, when the world famous Otago rail trail in New Zealand was proposed a lot of locals and farmers were against it, now a lot of them have opened B&Bs along the route and dying towns have been reinvigorated!