18 C
Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Not enough passengers?

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

He said, she said

Fast Buck$, Coorabell At last week’s Council meeting our former mayor had me kicked out of the meeting for ‘disorderly...

Rous Chair Keith Williams looks ahead

Since the Dunoon Dam was shelved, Rous County Council has put a new draft of the Future Water Project...

Thanks for Bob

Jo Faith, Newtown I wish to thank The Echo for printing the article by Bob Morgan, First Nations academic. This...

Byron Bay’s first ever matured spirit wins gold medal at London Spirit Competition

While the Northern Rivers region is well known for its environment and lifestyle, it is also becoming known for...

Council won’t save our beach

Cr Jan Hackett, Byron Bay Byron Shire Council refuses to take any action to save our once world-class beach, until...

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jillian Spring, Billinudgel

Byron Shire’s Councillor Alan Hunter’s assertion that ‘our Casino to Murwillumbah rail service’ did not have enough passengers or freight to justify it 16 years ago and that is not likely to have changed’ is totally wrong.

Just a small check on historical information/statements from MPs/ mayors/councillors, business Chambers of Commerce, business owners, and multitudes of citizens show the need for a rail service, and then consider the increased population of locals and the growing tourism industry.

With increased vehicles on the roads, this need [for rail services] is even greater, especially for connection across our massive Northern Rivers region. The disgusting assertion that subsidy fares were the main users is abhorrent – when actually country passengers cost less per person than city folk.

Our rail service was stopped only because of a very political action to ‘save’ the Labor Mini-Budget of 2004–2005; when transport minister Michael Costa stopped our train six months ahead of the promised 12 months.

The only reason our Heritage Rail (including yards) were disused was the result of allocated monies being spent elsewhere. For example, 8,000 steel sleepers along sections of our rail line were moved to the Walgett rail line, costing $315,000. And while the XPT did not carry as many passengers as the Motor Rail, it was because the timetable was changed – and the result was fewer passengers, and this was what was behind one of the so-called ‘reasons’ quoted to give credence to stopping the train service.

Previous articleSand pipeline foolish
Next articleBacklash 21 October

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Like most rail advocates, Jillian is big on claims and small on evidence. I met the train several times in Murwillumbah and Lismore in the 1990s. A handful of passengers would get off. Most looked like pensioners. There is no way it lost less money than metropolitan trains that carry over a million passengers per day.

    Basing claims about usage on decades old numbers is pointless. Affordable air travel, modern comfortable cars and the M1 completely changed what trains were competing with. Less people than ever would use the train now.

    The change to the XPT was a response to changing circumstances. The timetable on a daily cycle from Sydney and back had a lot more to consider than the small number of passengers on a distant branch line. Claiming that it was changed specifically to make it less attractive for passengers up here is ridiculous paranoia.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.