When a rail trail on the Casino to Murwillumbah train line was first mentioned I thought it would be a good idea, but not if the line was to be ripped up. There’s no need, as the 20-metre wide corridor alongside the rail could easily and inexpensively be used for a trail. But the rail trail proponents have shown they are not interested in working with the community for any compromise that would see a rail trail and train service as the best outcome for all.
Despite all the studies to the contrary, rail trailers continue to regurgitate Don (We’ll Get The Trains Running) Page’s ridiculous cost for repair of the line, which was invented to justify not honouring a decade of promises. Do supporters of a rail trail really think that repairing the bridges, removing the large trees that have been allowed to grow on the line, fixing the washaways and repairing the drains, then ripping the line up and concreting it all over, will cost less for a rail trail than for a train service? Or are they just part of Don’s plan to justify not getting the trains running in order to sell the very valuable corridor?
Rail trailers obviously don’t have any concern for the cost to thousands of low paid north coast people who have to drive long distances to work every day. Or the young people who have great difficulty getting to Uni or social activities, or the seniors who are unable to access necessary medical services or even get to the shops, regardless of how close to a train station they may live.
No matter how hysterical the bikers get, we all know a bike trail cannot provide the same social, economic or environmental benefits to the community for the same cost as a train service. When rail trail supporters denigrate well informed train supporters and have no interest in the best outcomes for the whole community, I like many others, am very suspicious of their motives.
Louise Doran, Ocean Shores