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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Rail line infeasibility costings

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I refer to the costings of the recent Casino to Murwillumbah rail feasibility study.

The restoration of the rail line from Byron Bay to Mullumbimby is estimated to cost $202 million.

This is a stretch of rail track that is 16km long.

It has approximately 25 wooden underbridges, of which 13 are less then 15m long, a total of approximately 600m. These underbridges have been budgeted at $61 million. That is $100,000 for every metre of wooden underbridge. A recent condition report, released with the feasibility study, requested all underbridges to be replaced. None of them had been physically inspected and it was acknowledged that in a 2004 inspection report 15 of the 25 underbridges were considered to be in good or fair condition.

There are preliminaries and contingencies and overheads and unknowns and profits, but costing estimates of $200 million for this part of the track look to me as it is intended not to go ahead, to say it politely.

Jens Krause, Byron Bay

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  1. The light rail system getting built between Southport and Broadbeach,a distance of only 13.5km is costing $650 million dollars.This is ok as it is thru a high population area and its usage will outweigh its cost.Maybe the local bus companies should release their passenger usage numbers to see if a train running in competition with the bus service is viable.

  2. Clearly the costings are a propaganda exercise to support the diversion of freight and passengers to road services, not as a matter of public good but as a benefit to certain entities.


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