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The findings of the Legislative Council Inquiry into the North-East Rail Corridor should come in May or early June, the inquiry chairwoman says.
The inquiry will make recommendations to the state government on the future of the North-East rail corridor, which runs roughly between Scottsdale and Launceston.
In two two-day sessions, they have heard from various stakeholders, including advocates for a heritage rail line, advocates for the recreation trail, and tourism experts.
Inquiry chairwoman MLC Rosemary Armitage said she was hopeful the findings would be released by the end of May.
"We are really aware of the time constraints with it - some people say we're a stalling mechanism, but we're not," she said.
"It takes a while by the time you go through and get all the evidence together, but I think everybody on the committee is aware of the time problems."
The "time problems" refer to the fact that a federal government grant for the North-East Recreation Trail - a walking and cycle path that would involve ripping up the disused rail infrastructure - expires in December.
The committee's next step is to inspect the rail line along with the Office of the Rail Regulator, accompanied by a specialist engineer.
"That's great that they've offered to do that," Ms Armitage said.
"I'm not an engineer. I don't know when I look at sleepers if they're good or if they're not good, but they'll be able to tell us what's required.
"So I'm certainly looking forward to it."
The committee also plans to take a trip to Victoria to see the volunteer-run heritage rail project Yarra Valley Railway, and to see some successful rail trails (bike paths on former rail lines) in the state - although the dates of that trip have not been finalised.
The committee consists of three independent, one Liberal, and two Labor members of the upper house.
Their options are to recommend a heritage line the entire distance of the corridor, a recreation trail the entire distance of the corridor, or a combination
Ms Armitage said they would carefully weigh the evidence to make a decision on their recommendations.
This article first appeared on www.examiner.com.au
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