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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

The trains are gone but for some the dream isn’t

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John Scrivener, Main Arm

I read and reread Louise Doran’s latest letter but I couldn’t find anything she hasn’t written many times before. Far be it for me to criticise a fellow letter writer or The Echo, but how long will it take for someone to realise that no matter how many times Louise reiterates her message, it isn’t going to bring back the train.

I have written a number of letters on this subject over the past twelve months, most of which have been very kindly published byThe Echo, but there comes a point where I feel I have written all I can without repeating myself, and I don’t want to waste valuable space inThe Echo‘s letter section repeating myself.

Apparently Louise doesn’t have such qualms, she has been repeating herself throughThe Echo‘s letters section for years now. On the odd occasions that Louise writes about something else, I find myself agreeing with her opinions, so I wonder why it is that she is so wedded to her train campaign and why she is so opposed to the trail proposal.

Part of the problem, I think, is that the train issue is, for some, an ideological battleground, rooted in the erroneous assumption that trains are synonymous with efficient public transport. Unfortunately it is very difficult to shake people of their ideological beliefs, which are often immune to revision for various psychological reasons.

Ultimately, education and self-reflection are necessary for a balanced view of the world. Objective and impartial analysis of the facts on any issue is critical if we are to arrive at some semblance of intelligent and rational opinion. Nobody else can do that for us, we owe it to ourselves to be well informed and flexible of mind.

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  1. It doesn’t bother me that TOOT activists want to waste their time and effort campaigning for the return of rail services, really I couldn’t care less. But it bothers me that in what amounts to tacit acknowledgment of the futility of their cause, they focus most of their efforts on attacking the rail trail proposal and its supporters.

    Let’s be quite clear about this, the trail proponents had absolutely nothing to do with the cessation of rail services on the Casino to Murwillumbah line, nor have they ever campaigned against the return of rail services locally. Trail proponents are in no way responsible for the current state of play, in which the disused rail corridor remains abandoned, derelict and neglected.

    Indeed the trail proponents are the only ones who are calling for realistic, practical and affordable development of the disused corridor, and for this they are attacked mercilessly by TOOT activists. It seems to me that TOOT activists like Louise Doran and Basil Cameron know they have zero chance of attaining their ostensible goal of reinstating rail services locally, but they are content to prevent an affordable alternative.

    Such an attitude is petty and selfish, at best.


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