It’s interesting to see the Greens have surveyed the track by chopper between Casino and Murwillumbah to promote the retention of the existing track.
I got to wondering how will they inspect the 187 bridges the majority being of timber construction and now in poor unusable condition, let alone the thousands of timber sleepers rotting away in the ground.
Today’s trains require either bulk commodities (ie coal, iron ore) or a large population to operate successfully (and profitably).
The north east area of NSW has neither and even the Gold Coast railway (where SE Queensland area has 10 times the population of the NE NSW area) has so far only reached Varsity Lakes and it is not scheduled to reach the Coolangatta airport (which is a good idea) before 2031.
That railway (which clips along at 130kph till Beenleigh) is all new, replacing an original railway that had been closed down due to lack of use. Sound familiar?
And if it is decided to leave the parts of the Casino-Murwillumbah track in situ, for what? to be pulled out in five, ten or more years’ time, if money was then available?
A rail trail will be a boon to the NSW north coast area as others have been in other areas in Australia and overseas, a reason that all local councils involved now support the rail trail.
Ian Stocks, Ballina