A group of residents committed to the return of rail services to the area say the first stage of planning is underway ‘to bring our tracks back to life and extend a climate-friendly train service to Mullumbimby, with the second stage to provide rail services to Bangalow’.
Lydia Kindred, from Northern Rivers Rail Ltd (NRRL), told The Echo, the plans are based on a recently completed Transport Expansion Strategy for the Northern Rivers’, which was jointly funded by Mitren Rail and Prema Capital.
As part of this planning, park’n’ride parking options around Mullumbimby Station were explored last Friday by members of Northern Rivers Rail Ltd (NRRL) Board.
They comprise Chairperson Jan Mangleson, Secretary Lydia Kindred and Phillip Hill, who met with Strategy and Planning consultant, Nigel Kirwan and David Brown, a member of the Byron Shire Council’s Place Planning committee.
‘Many commuters dealing with the daily and prolonged traffic jams travelling into Byron Bay CBD from the Pacific Highway and along Ewingsdale Road, and others who just avoid the journey altogether, will benefit greatly from an easy journey on an extended Solar Train service’, Lydia Kindred said.
‘The rail journey proposed between Mullumbimby and Byron Bay is estimated as taking 20–25 minutes and will connect people for work, sightseeing, restaurants, entertainment, recreation, and health services’.
Lydia Kindred continued, ‘One of the issues the return of regional rail services is facing at the moment is a push to pull up the tracks of our railway corridors for recreational bike and hike paths.’
Lydia said Northern Rivers Rail welcomes, where feasible, these recreational paths, ‘but not at the cost of regular rail services being established as a priority for public transport in our existing rail corridor’.
To support the return of much-needed trains, NRRL asks residents ‘to please write a brief note to Byron Shire Council by Friday, October 7, to ensure that the extension of climate-friendly train services in the Byron Shire and beyond is not put at risk by recreational use paths’.
Council’s proposal is at www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Your-Say-Byron-Shire/Mullumbimby-to-Brunswick-Heads-cycleway-route-options.
For more info, or to become a member, or donate to Northern Rivers Rail Ltd go to: www.northernriversrail.com.au.
Proposed bike path up through Brunswick Heads
‘We ask that you request that a proposed bike path up through Brunswick Heads does not stop the potential for extending the rail service beyond Mullumbimby to Yelgun at the top of Byron Shire, where Splendour and other festivals desperately need rail service to help with their transport issues.
‘David Brown agreed that reinstating the existing rail system between tourist and employment centres is an environmentally and economically sound proposition.
Northern Rivers Rail Ltd has been established to restore our tracks and establish regular, climate-friendly rail services in the Northern Rivers to provide much-needed, non-road travel options.
For more info or to become a member, or donate to Northern Rivers Rail Ltd go to: www.northernriversrail.com.au.