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Byron Shire
January 22, 2022

Diesel train adds to pollution

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I attended the TOOT meeting on July 17 at the Byron Community Centre. It was a complex  meeting.

The convenor, Byron mayor Simon Richardson, a Greens councillor, spoke first. Talk focused on a private proposal to run a solar powered or diesel engine on the track from Bayshore Drive to the Byron town centre.

A pretty, coloured image was projected of an old diesel locomotive. He stated that the diesel train would be making two trips per hour. No further mention of solar. No mention of when the daily service might start and finish.

There was talk of the 45 tonnes it weighed and the delays which it would incur near the Butler Street crossing. The diesel is a 661 series built in 1971. It will be leased from and maintained by Lithgow State Mine Railway. Does this not raise eyebrows, a mining company?

Diesel locomotives are heavy polluters in the noise they make and they spew out many carcinogens, toxic contaminants and particulates (black soot).

I wrote to the resort asking how an eco resort could use a diesel but one week later have not received any reply.

As there were multimillion-dollar proposals made for use of the rail by several businessmen, I was surprised that neither local newspaper had a formal report on this important meeting.

Lee Cass, Byron Bay

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  1. The locomotive from previous articles about this train is a 660 series.It has a 2 x 6 cylinder Diesel engines delivering 300HP at 1750 RPM and gulping fuel at the rate of 57 litres x 2 engines per hour. Now this seems like 2 car tank fulls of diesel per hour of running.Efficient no,smokey maybe especially being an engine built in 1971. Noise levels uncertain but at 1am in the morning when delivering patrons from the drinking establishments home I would say it will wake the neighborhood. A good idea and green? I don’t think so. Today’s buses have almost the same carbon end of life output as trains and deliver you almost to your door ,trains deliver deliver you to a station and then you have to walk up to 5km like TOOTs tell us.


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