In reply to Angie Burgler’s letter: if you found yourself bleeding to death, I bet the first thing you’d do is to grasp hard at the wound site, to help save yourself. Yes? Well, one of our collective wounds used to be our old and dilapidated railway line, stretching 134km from Casino to Murwillumbah. The Carr government finally had to grasp at the outflow of taxpayer’s hard cash, as the constantly depleting patronage demonstrated the imminent death of the ever-higher cost service.
Even cutting back savagely on the upkeep costs for the many final years could not stem the losses. It’s an awfully sad outcome, but train services like this were just one of many historic icons that have met similar fates, like sailing ships, even steam ships. And even if we could wave a wand and have an average 100 people per day ride a train for $10 a ticket, that daily $1,000 would barely cover the wages of the drivers and station attendants, let alone their uniforms, superannuation, workers compensation insurance and sick leave, etc.
The Northern Rivers Rail Trail mob talk about small businesses sprouting up along this wonderful rail corridor, quenching our thirsts and feeding our appetites and with world-class views currently unattainable, with stopovers in northern-rivers-style quaint accommodation. Wow, these people are cool cyclists, walkers, horse riders, and maybe electric pedal-bikers and trikers too. They’re into no-carbon transport and keeping fit so they can live longer and enjoy life more.
Come to think of it, it sounds like the theme of this whole region to me. It’s just such a pity that our Byron Shire is the only shire along this magnificent corridor that is not on board. Maybe they’re waiting for someone to show them how to use a calculator. It’s hard to fathom really, as Byron Shire is at the centre of this corridor, and its greatest potential winner.
Tim Shanasy, Byron Bay