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Byron Shire
April 11, 2021

Rail trail a riot

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If the NSW state government were to propose converting an existing railway line into a rail trail in Sydney the population would riot.

The Queensland government is replacing the rail system that former corrupted governments sold off, and have already completed a light rail system from Southport to Broadbeach. The additional thousands of traffic movements from the NSW state government’s approval of the West Byron development in gridlocked Byron Bay scream out for light rail on the existing track.

New railways, light rail and under-harbour tunnels are proposed for Sydney but up here in Hippy Land they offer us a rail trail. I would appreciate walking or bicycling a few kilometres through lovely countryside on a rail trail but not at the expense of thousands of people having the opportunity to commute to work and school students, locals and tourists all able to use light rail.

I’m sure the Chinese could quickly and cheaply develop a light rail system for us using the infrastructure as it stands and the costs may well be similar to the tens of millions of dollars the state government is proposing to spend on ripping up the train lines.

With rapidly growing populations, increasing transportation costs due to dwindling oil reserves and technological advances in transportation, light rail may well be essential for our future economy, sanity and health.

North Byron Beach Resort owner Brian Flannery is already planning a railmotor service so let’s ask him to use his contacts to investigate modern transportation development opportunities.

Gary Opit, Wooyung


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  1. I need to travel to the Southern Cross Uni or hospital in Lismore from my home in Suffolk Park or Ocean Shores.I walk 4km to the train station about 45 minutes ,wait for 15minutes,get on train for for 55 minute journey to South Lismore Station,wait 10 minutes for bus and then a 15 minute trip to the Uni via the CBD. In the afternoon I do the same thing in reverse.It is a very long day and I am fed up with all the interchanges. Somebody said to me it is much easier to just catch a bus but I really believe that a train is the best . I will not believe that buses have about the same “end of life carbon use” as a train.I believe thatthe old 1800s designed route would be better on a new population growth corridor route.
    This was the type of transport option my father would use in the 1940s .I love to read and talk about history but I don’t want to live and travel like they did in the 1890s when the railway route was designed.

    • Have you tried a pushbike lately? No one wants you to walk 45 minutes to a train station. An integrated bus service would do the job nicely too. Maybe some of the energy and resources of the rail trail supporters could be directed to improving or extending the towns cycling infrastructure. Thayt would make their integrety a bit mor believable. And by the way a road or a rail trail does not make money directly either (apart from toll roads).

  2. great idea. The rail trail is an absurd waste of money and that money would be much better spent on retaining rail services to the region that needs it most, The Northern Rivers of course.


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