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Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

Trains take traffic off roads, increase safety

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It was very obvious prior to the 2011 state election that the Liberal-National Party had no intention of honouring their promises to ‘get the trains running’. Their so-called study was put together in 2013 specifically to justify that decision.

The ARUP ‘study’, without doing any inspections, claimed all 28 bridges on the Lismore to Byron section of the line need to be replaced at hugely inflated cost.

They included the cost of replacing bridges on the Byron to Mullum section of the line that do not even exist!

The transport needs of 4.6 million tourists to the region didn’t rate a mention.

Legal action has been commenced against ARUP in Brisbane over losses to investors relating to their traffic forecasts for the Clem7 Brisbane Tunnel. Some serious reasons why the ARUP study is dismissed.

There’s no comparison between a daily, regular commuter train providing a service for eight out 10 of the major population centres on the line and 4.6 million tourists, and the big, heavy, expensive Ritz Rail tourist train which only ran once a week and did not provide transport for anyone.

One train carrying 100 people into Byron could take 50 vehicles off Ewingsdale Road. Six trips per day equals 300 vehicles per day.

A cycleway will do nothing to reduce traffic and carbon emissions, it will increase both as people will have to drive to the region to use it!

The ARUP recommendations about bus services have as much credibility as the rest of their ‘study’.

People extolling the virtues of buses obviously never use them. They should try travelling to Brisbane using public transport and see how long it takes.

Local buses are empty as they don’t connect people to where they need to go, and, like all road transport trying to get into Byron, they are stuck in traffic for hours.

Louise Doran, Ocean Shores


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  1. Yet again, Louise has done a very good job at delivering the facts and common sense. Good on you Louise, you are 100% correct.

  2. Hey Louise,

    After we’ve brought back the train to the 120 year old tracks I suggest we also rebuild the jetty at Byron and restart the steamship service and bring back the horse and cart which is also less polluting.

    Yes I am being facetious but the above is about as likely as the train service on that corridor. All you are doing is acting as spoilers. There will either be a rail trail or nothing. Which would you prefer?

    • Wow, that was the worst reply ever Neil. Not 1 valid reason why the train shouldnt or wont happen.

      I am sorry but Louise Doran won that by 9 – 1.

      Realistically, trains in the region are very much needed. Not too far south the xpt runs and freight trains run, every day. It is possible. But of course it’s not for negative people like yourself.

  3. From 1992 to 1997 QLD Rail did an extensive upgrade of the Main Line between Brisbane and Cairns. The replacement of 627 timber bridges with concrete bridges or box culverts occurred .
    The upgrade included no fewer than 45 rail deviations with a combined length of 120km.
    Over 95% of the Brisbane to Rockhampton track was relaid on concrete sleepers.This was subsequently extended to Townsville.
    Ross Hunter quoted ” without substantial upgrading ,the quality of rail freight services possible could not keep pace with the quantum improvements by our major competitor,road transport. The Main Line Project is targeted at improving and picking up market share,and reducing the costs of providing these services to enable rail to compete more effectively on price”
    Travel time dropped from 40hrs to 27hrs.The Brisbane to Cairns rail market share is between 25 to 30% whereas the Sydney to Brisbane rail market share is less than 9%.
    Most of the Northern Rivers line is not worthy of supporting a viable train system, it needs a new corridor that will get people out of cars and get freight off the roads.
    Aim high Louise as we deserve a reasonably fast train system ,not a 19th century train alignment that WILL keep people in cars.
    We will have another 500 homes getting built in Leenox Head and Cumbalum is expanding .Will all these people be driving down to Station St in Bangalow to catch a slow winding train to the Gold Coast ? No ,they will be wanting a fast train following the Pacific Highway with park n ride stations located at the highway off ramps.
    Will Bangalow want a multilevel parking station located next to its train station?
    Come on Louise surely you should be pushing for a 21st century alignment train system,we deserve this more than a 19th century slow train alignment.


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