Ken Slater, Gatton, Qld
I recently visited Byron Bay and collected a copy of both the Byron Shire News and the Byron Echo and I read with dismay about the possible demise of the Murwillumbah-Casino rail line. I was disgusted that Ritz rail was booted off the track by the New South Wales government. I cannot understand the narrow mindedness of state governments with regard to regional rail.
The Gold Coast Airport is becoming a regional hub for both the Tweed/Byron and Gold Coast regions and it makes strategic sense that a railway line would service these regions.
I understand that the Queensland rail line is progressing further south with a possibility of reaching the Gold Coast airport and it would make sense to extend the NSW line north to the airport. Also I have seen plans for a standard gauge line to be laid alongside the QR narrow gauge (possibly to meet the NSW line from Murwillumbah). It is about time that all national rail lines be standardized (4′ 8 1/2″-1435mm).
Four years ago I visited London and travelled from Paddington to Heathrow Airport (station built under the terminals) on the Heathrow Express.
Those international visitors entering through Coolangatta Airport could visit the Tweed/ Byron region on a fast comfortable train.
Having a train service benefits the community at large as well as the tourists.