I read with a rare pleasure the two letters last week raging against Council’s decision to begin transforming the disused rail corridor into a community trail.
My enjoyment was not owed to their lyricism or profundity, nor some striking rationality in the arguments presented. Rather, it arose because these letters confirmed my theory that the train lobby is not so much interested in the train’s return, as it is hell bent on ensuring the rail corridor is never used for any other purpose – such as a bike and walking track.
The train is not coming back. To recap: the XPT ceased operation in 2004 and was replaced with a bus connection to the Casino railhead. Both ends of the Casino–Murwillumbah branch line are currently being turned into a rail trail, with the tracks having already been removed between Crabbes Creek and Murwillumbah. Byron Shire’s section of track has, until now, been the missing link.
We should be grateful that Council is finally acting to utilise the corridor – a great public asset along which a train once ran – and celebrating their promotion of bicycle use. Anything else is sour grapes.