Regional rail is experiencing a revival in Europe. More lines are planned in the region I recently visited, to connect Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
Shut-down lines have been reopened successfully. It is a boon for tourism, especially ecotourism; many visit the region for cycling holidays.
The area, where regional rail is on the comeback, features also some of the best bike-riding tracks anywhere.
Bikes can be transported via rail to a starting point and be used on the purpose built bike tracks, which for large sections follow the rail line. You can hire bikes on railway stations and drop them off at others.
Farmers in small villages along the rail lines have diversified from their crops of apples, hay, cows… into holiday letting and bike rental.
Tourists love leaving the car behind and exploring the region on foot or bike, or travelling via rail to the scenic towns around.
We have a great opportunity to transform our region to a bike-riding holiday destination with the rail as the essential backbone.
Rail, buses and bikes go together, we just need to look a little bit further to see how it has been done successfully.
Jens Krause, Byron Bay