It’s so lovely to cycle around the shire. How can anyone seriously consider a rail trail part of a public transport solution?
It is so ridiculous, it is difficult to find words for it. I have talked to hundreds of people while petitioning for a light rail integrated transport option in the region, who do not see cycling between towns as their idea of public transport.
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I know I'm probably going to get shot down for this but for what it's worth:
I personally support the idea of a rail trail on disused rail lines.
The Murwillumbah line has been closed for 10 years now. The reason why it was closed in the first place is due to a lack of any viable rail traffic on the line, the last freight service on the line finished up in 2002, and the XPT ran for a further 2 years on its own before rail traffic was suspended altogether.
People can start up whatever rail support group they want, but the fact of the matter is without any actual revenue source, the railway is pointless and a waste of taxpayer money. Trains need more than a support group and people having a cry to make them run, and it all comes down to dollars and cents. No profit (or at least some revenue source to offset the cost of maintatining the line) to be made from the railway = no railway.
Ripping the perway up and laying an ashphalt bike path or just ripping up the perway and making a walking track would surely be a better option than just leaving the rail in place to be stolen and/or overgrown. Most rail lines that are being proposed to be used for rail trails haven't seen a train in over 30 years, and in all reailty have no prospect of ever reopening.
The land could be opended up to the public and at least put to some use, rather than just sit there and do nothing for anyone. If, by some miracle the line was to be put forward for reopening, then the bike trail simply gets removed and perway relaid. Most closed rail lines in NSW would need the perway to be ripped up and relaid if they ever were to reopen anyway, so ripping it up and putting the land to alternate use in the meantime seems to make sense.
If people really want these rail lines reopend, either put down the dollars and the business plan or keep quiet. As I said before, rail lines need more than hopes and dreams to run.
Anyways thats my 2 cents worth