Interesting that the bicycle community that called for special lanes in many areas, & including Sydney CBD are having problems with the rogue elements that do not care for anyone else, such as pedestrians or even locals who have to park in the streets, as their old terrace castles have no parking space, & they fight for the space outside with bikes, & accidents means insurance hikes when a bike dents their car, & they have to pay extra for it. There has been several bad incidents reported after the City Council with its Green Mayor pushed these lanes through.
So, what has this to do with Rail trails? What I have seen in several areas with the bike riders that grab whatever space for a new adventure trip is they rarely care for the surrounds, they bike together like many pedestrians & take over the whole width of a footpath/trail & refuse to move for anyone coming the other way. How much will this impact on the trails, with hostilities taking over part of our modern scty I guess.
locals may initially warm to the idea especially with the prospect of tourism & special events on an annual basis, but will that really happen in the end. As locojoe has hinted at.
Several attempts to have the Tumut line opened in the past have failed, be it in total length or part, so how likely is it to happen? very little, as the costs will be enormous the primary of course is the flood plain bridge, but it will fall down one day so even it will be a distant memory. Much of the line as are others goes through private properties, which are there as part of early agreements with the farmers, I am sure they would have a say about who really can enter their property areas, remember much of those lines were unfenced & that showed really who owned the land anyway.
If the cost to return the line, or for that matter any of the lines back into revenue capable ventures is too much, especially with as there is ongoing maintenance costs, is too much, how on earth could these ventures be made viable under public liability needs? To rehabilitate these lines, or this one in particular is going to happen it would need a lot of money spent on it to clear the ROW & make it safe for riders, that means lifting or covering the rail & sleepers, ensuring there are sufficient widths & fencing along embankments, making any old bridge or trestle also safe, & who pays for that?
I doubt if local Councils would get any real applause from the rate payers who currently in most cases are cash strapped enough with rates constantly on the rise to pay for executive salaries. I for one would not like it, & what about the governments, would they want to spend what would be millions of $$$'s on these projects at the expense of other PT improvements? I think not.
The last aspect is this. How far from Sydney or other Capitals are these ventures? This really equates to how many will use the trails anyway, as few of these lines are close to Sydney or even Canberra, so in the end how many people would really use them?
Leave things alone, which include the ROW's if time comes that there is a viable reason to re-open the lines communities would benefit far more by that happening than a few bikers.