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Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

It’s not over until it’s over

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Mullumbimby railway station burns down

At around midnight last night, a fire started which engulfed the old Mullumbimby railway station. It's been twenty years since the last train came through, but the building has been an important community hub, providing office space for a number of organisations, including COREM, Mullum Music Festival and Social Futures.

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In response to Jo Faith’s recent letter (Echo online edition 23.3.24), it’s definitely not all over for train services in our region!

The recent completion of the first on-the-ground study of our tracks in 20 years has shown that it will cost a fraction of what has been touted till now, to fix the tracks and bring train services back!

We are also surveying locals and finding that over 90 per cent want railway services to return!

No real community consultation has ever occurred in any of our shires about what the people really want: trains or a bike path, or both!

Local railway companies are working hard to extend services from the current Byron Solar Train, the first in the world, to Mullumbimby and then up to Bangalow.

Then extending to Billinudgel to service 7,500 residents in Ocean Shores, South Golden Beach and New Brighton and on to Yelgun (it may help Splendour come back).

Then on to Lismore from Bangalow, via Eltham and Bexhill. Lismore needs some of the 2.4 million annual visitors to Byron Bay. They will be able to visit our region’s towns, safely and in comfort, and support our local economies.

Our roads are more congested than any other region in NSW. The Northern Rivers has also recorded some of the highest drink driving rates, as there is no option but to drive if you want to go out for a drink!

The train tracks are the best route for restoring early movement of people and produce, as part of an evacuation plan, in times of flood. They become accessible, well before roads are cleared.

For so many reasons we need to save our tracks from being any further destroyed, for the future sustainability of the Northern Rivers! We can have both train services and a bike path within the current railway corridor.

For more information and to donate go to www.northernriversrail.com.au.

Lydia Kindred, Secretary, Northern Rivers Railway


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18 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Lydia – please provide information re:

    – “Local railway companies are working hard to extend services from the current Byron Solar Train, the first in the world, to Mullumbimby and then up to Bangalow”. Who are these companies? how will they privately fund the restoration of the degraded rail line?

    – “We are also surveying locals and finding that over 90 per cent want railway services to return” – how extensive was this survey – please provide a breakdown of the data.

    I think what you are proposing is great in theory, but there is no reality to it – basically where is the money coming from when the state govt has said repeatedly that trains will not be funded? And what of the already built (and soon to be built) rail trails – should they just be removed? Essentially the trains are already effectively ‘cancelled’ from returning from Murbah to Crabbes Creek (Tweed rail trail) in the north and Casino to Lismore in the south (rail trail constructed in Richmond Valley Shire, and commenced in Lismore shire). Any case for a limited train in Byron shire has to make money (or at least break even) – and with many tens of millions required to just start the reconstruction, let alone get an approval, employ, staff and maintenance workers and sell a few tickets – this just does not stack up in any way. This process would take many years and be a financial black hole!

  2. One hundred and forty thousand visits in its first year to the rail trial in Tweed and thousands more have been enjoying the new section from Casino. What is over are the years of you telling the public only a handful of “Lycra cyclists” would use what you called the “fail trail”. And now people have seen what the corridor and tunnels and cuttings are like, and understand how the rail trail was built and what makes it such an enjoyable experience for such a wide range of people, we are over the pretense that it could have been built beside the tracks. And while we have all enjoyed our ride on the solar train, we know what it’s like and we are over being told it’s some sort of public transport or traffic solution in the Northern Rivers.
    But what people in this area can see through and are well and truly over are the ongoing games: the endless “studies” on the disused infrastructure; the “surveys” of a public that might like a train but knows the government is not going to fund one; the “railway companies” only created after the railway was closed by Parliament; and the failure of those companies to show any funding for imagined rail. We have heard it all before, it is divisive, and it is just about stalling and stopping the community from enjoying our completed Northern Rivers Rail Trail and its railway heritage.

  3. If only she would. I also have had a gut full of her neverending and senseless trains nonsense. Does she really believe that any thinking person would blindly swallow her manufactured baloney without ever questioning what she’s suggesting, surely not. 🙄

  4. Lydia, I’d recommend you start some therapy! Most of what you spout is delusion Give it a rest! And lay off the exclamation marks! Please!

  5. Is there some gofundme or something similar which people can donate to which will use the donated funds to work towards convincing Lydia and her weird mob to stop posting their misinformation? I’m not the only one who is getting really really tired of being exposed to the obviously made up ‘spiel’ they are pushing. Enough Lydia, please, if you don’t mind.

  6. I agree with others, trains are not coming back as there is no one who is prepared to put substantial funds down that sink hole. Yes, lets’ give up the fantasy that trains are coming back and get on with extending the popular rail trails.

  7. My friends aunts 3rd cousin heard somewhere how Donny will be bringing back the trains for lydia but only if he’s elected.

  8. Lidia if you want to help our elderly , our youth , our workers and our residents with cheap and reliable door to door transport I would suggest you spend your energy and resources on electric shuttles or buses .
    These electric buses or shuttles would still be required for delivering train passengers to and from their homes and their final destinations.
    Shuttles and buses give first,middle and last mile delivery. A train only provides middle mile delivery , bus and shuttles are still required for first and last mile delivery of passengers.

  9. Lydia stop wasting people’s time and money. You are so full of misleading and straight out lies. Delusional and manipulative . What happens to all that money you take from people anyway? This is a rural area we are not Sydney or Melbourne. We are the Northern Rivers and our railway was built on the backs of hardworking local families and was not intended for your city suburban railway you are trying to create to overrun and litter our towns with the rubbish from all the people commuting for their convenience to sit in cafes or restaurants and consume and decimate our once tranquil beautiful places. The service was built to be a country to city service and ran on ‘country’ time. If all the city people and yourself want a ‘city suburban railway’ then should stay in the city and stop ruining this part of the North Coast.

  10. The NSW government policy is not to fund the return of rail in the Northern Rivers. This is on both sides of politics. The NSW government will not fund the enormous costs of returning rail because fantasy is not funded.

  11. The NSW government policy is not to fund proper infrastructure in the Northern Rivers. This is on both sides of politics. The NSW government will not fund the enormous costs of infrastructure but are happy to fill up all the land inc. flood prone land with unaffordable housing because they think we need more rich people here . GOOD LUCK with the traffic on Ewingsdale road and other roads in the area when all the housing is built !!!! Not to mention the already non functioning stormwater drains in this town , that’s another topic for another day…

  12. Poor sad show Lydia. More classic trolling behaviour from you. Choosing to never answer questions put to you in the responses no prizes for guessing why that is.

  13. Lydia, how are those financial statements in support of the Mullum/Byron line ,for the Council coming along?

    They were due last December, were they not?

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