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Byron Shire
October 23, 2021

For or against Byron train? It’s Elementary

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On reading the ongoing scathing remarks from a few members of the Sunrise Beach community I feel I need to respond that although they have a right to look at the running of the new rail service being offered to visitors and the Byron community by Elements of Byron, they really need to listen to the logic of the situation.

This will be an excellent trip for many people, as well as helping to reduce the ongoing traffic tensions. What a lovely experience for many of the young and young at heart with its slow journey (designed to prevent any injuries to those wanting to cross the line ahead), its low use of diesel in comparison to cars and trucks – 3.5 litres of fuel for the complete 7 km turnaround journey and for transporting 104 people that won’t be using their cars!

The knee-jerk fear mongering needs to be called out when they harp on about asbestos brake linings, which haven’t been used in trains for at least 40 years, and the noise pollution stories. As the refurbished train will be travelling on a flat line, cruising quietly along the smooth tracks, the noise will be minimal and the convenience of leaving your car at the car park (I believe there will be at least 100 car parking spaces provided by Elements) going for a leisurely ride into town, on to the beach, going shopping, having a coffee, dinner and a drink, and then a safe trip back to your car, not having to face that grindingly slow car ride into town, only to find there are no parking spots or having to pay many dollars for the privilege of using one, will be just great.

I predict this local rail service will become extremely popular in a very short time and be the envy of other towns in our region where we have no public transport supporting our local communities.

Lydia Kindred, Rosebank

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  1. Finally some balance and common sense – thanks Lydia! As a Sunrise resident myself who lives directly behind the tracks, I have never been consulted by the Sunrise association for my opinion so they are not the voice of all residents. I have always been kept informed by the resort as I bothered to subscribe to their regular update emails and I visited the property both in it’s planning and completed stages. I welcome the train as do many of my neighbours and friends in the area – it’s a far more attractive option than queuing behind endless cars and trucks driving into town. They just launched a local (sunrise and Arts & Industry estate ) discount card too for their restaurant which I for one will definitely be using.

  2. If insanity prevails and the train service occurs it will be very interesting to see just how many residents who live near the train path will be agreeing that it is an “attractive option” when the train does return trips every half hour. It will be far too late then to lodge any objection.

    Personally the thought that I will have to put up with the noise 15-20 metres from by residence instead of the sound of waves and bird calls leaves me cold. I am not convinced that there will be minimal environmental impact. An eco resort that proposes to use a diesel train for guest transport – seems like a contradiction really.

    It is interesting that the resort is able to accommodate 100s of “temporary” guests and that their special transport into town will inconvenience far more residents on a permanent and long term basis.
    Resort guests will be able to experience their tranquility at the resort as the train won’t be running past their rooms. Sadly, this will not be the case for the residences/accommodation along the rail line.

    Perhaps the resort could spend their dollars more eco wisely by developing a bike trail (that all the community could use) and provide electric/battery bikes for guests or maybe even bike cabs (pedicabs) along the trail (which has the potential to create more employment).

    We have not received any consultative correspondence from the resort because our residence was deemed “not close to the council approved building structures” however I have accessed the resort’s website as well as the Sunrise Association for updates.

    The proposed train service primarily benefits the resort and its guests. I believe it will disadvantage many local residents (noise disruption, decreasing land/housing values etc) and it has the potential to be destructive to the local environment on numerous levels. It will not solve the traffic issue.

    Marketing gimmicks are just that. It’s the long term impact of the train service I am concerned about.

    • A bike trail will never happen anyway – Too much legislation, funding and planning making it more of a ‘can of worms’ than a realistic project.

      The noise at the speed the train is travelling will be minimal.

      Your housing values will not be affected and never have, regardless if trains are running or not, because the railway corridor has been there for 100’s of years and because the rail corridor was never officially closed (just categorized as ‘service suspended’), that means your housing values would remain unaffected as the train service could return at any time anyway, as long as the tracks are still in place and the corridor remains open.

      If anything it would increase your housing values as public transportation, especially in a place like Byron, could be something people look for when purchasing a new house.

      Elements have said they never called their service ‘light rail’ (even though their train is lighter than the Gold Coast Light Rail rolling stock) – That has been the work of publications. Elements have also never said it would “fix” the traffic issue, but they have said that the affect, big or small is a good thing anyway

  3. It is unfortunate that those who live and have purchased property along the rail corridor are put out.
    The prices they paid should have been appropriate for this or at least they should have understood what the potential may have been..
    To think that the rail is regressive rather than progressive is hard to conceive. We need the rail back full time full stop.


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