Marianne Melnikas, Banora Point.
I am writing in reply to a letter published entitled Rail trail has no social licence, published on March 5th 2018.
The rail trail will indeed bring in tourists who do nothing but chase down and travel along all the rails trails across this country.
Back on May 16th 2004 the last train ran, the service was stopped by the Carr Government due to lack of support and the skyrocketing costs of keeping the service running.
Those who want a functional railway running between Casino and Murwillumbah will need to think deeply about the associated costs that would be involved in reinstating such a service, including the number of people using it. The costs of providing such a service to the community should be recouped by the bums on seats, usage.
The rail trail will provide financial benefits to all the places along the trail, the upkeep would be minimal with benefits outweighing any costs.
Looking at the Victorian story many places were in the same mind, we want our trains back, which did not happen. They are now quite happy with the rail trail as it has had the flow on effect of more employment opportunities in local communities and opened up doors for new and evolving business.
In far flung areas having all this going on it such a boost and plus.