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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Passenger train makes sense

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Carole Gamble, Mullumbimby Creek

Louise Doran’s letter to the editor (Echonetdaily June 10) is a beauty! Clear, succinct and sane.

Like Louise, I also fail to understand the repetitive and narrow nature of our various governments’ ‘studies’ and endless ‘reports’ that don’t address the issues comprehensively.

What can we do?

The ongoing frustration and lack of action despite promises and more importantly, the need for a rail service makes me wonder about the future of our region that had its only rail service suspended without consultation or recourse.

Reinstating a passenger light rail from Casino to Murwillumbah and then connecting this to Coolangatta makes so much sense! This line should be able to take large quantities of freight, making our highways safer for cars by reducing the number of enormous trucks.

Think tourism, amenity for locals, think about less traffic on the roads and less use of fossil fuels, independent movement around the area for non-drivers and non-vehicle owners.

Then think about the relatively modest cost of repairing/replacing tracks and bridges compared to roads (and the real probable cost is modest).

The biggest single expenditure for roads and rail is land acquisition and groundwork including excavation which community-minded visionaries have provided for us in the late 1800s. They did it with picks and shovels and what a wonderful legacy they left us that is now unused and deteriorating because our capital city needed upgrades to their public transport system so the money was diverted that might have been used to keep trains on our tracks.

What can we do? I wish I knew but it seems so clear to me that our rail should be reopened asap. Any suggestions?

Perhaps an Echo campaign?

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. I’m pretty sure there was a rail service from Casino to Murwillumbah at one point but it stopped because of underuse. As for connecting Murwillumbah to Coolangatta – that amount of track would be more than has been laid in NSW in the last 30 years.

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