While it may be some time off, Byron Shire Council unanimously voted Thursday to support North Byron Beach Resort’s light-rail proposal, which is now with the NSW state government for consideration.
From December 2014 the resort wants to run a railmotor shuttle service between Byron Bay railway station and a new station at Bayshore Drive. It will be open for the public at a proposed fee of $3.
‘We’d like to congratulate the resort’s owners for having the vision to build a real transport option,’ said Karin Kolbe, president of Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT).
‘It confirms the viability of light rail in the northern rivers,’ said Ms Kolbe.
Shared use of the Belongil bridge
‘Their plan for shared use of the Belongil bridge by both rail and cyclists/walkers demonstrates that the corridor can be shared.’
‘Byron Bay’s road system is crawling to a halt, and even a bypass will only offer temporary relief if the full West Byron development of 800-plus houses goes ahead.
‘Once the initial service is established, it can then be extended further along the Casino–Murwillumbah rail line.
‘Light rail will be increasingly important in moving tourists and locals around – not just around Byron Shire but the whole northern rivers, and beyond to southeast Queensland.’
In its submission to Council the resort’s managers noted, ‘The unique nature of the proposed service significantly limited rolling stock options… The 660 series railmotor constructed in 1971… was the most appropriate passenger vehicle for the proposed 3km service.
‘The 661 number motor car and 726 number trailer car have both been acquired by Lithgow State Mine Railway Limited and are available on a lease arrangement.
‘A lease option has been secured for this motor and trailer set, with ongoing operational and maintenance support to be provided by Lithgow State Mine Railway Limited.’