Investigation underway after heritage railway removed at Crookwell

 
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
This guy isnt a cocky, hes a grazier.
I thought it was a bovine stud farm, which makes him neither a grazier nor a cocky, rather a great big f***er.
djf01
Had to do a double check but no, grazier is for both cattle and sheep.

Hes also that for messing with the line, but that is an unofficial farming term/designation.

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The building of Rail Trails sometimes Includes the building / renewal of boundary fences, this Is done the win over angry neighbouring landowners, other sweeteners like cattle underpass / overpasses, extensive privacy tree planting are sometimes also used as barging chips.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
He'll get away with it ..............
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
He'll get away with it ..............
YM-Mundrabilla
I think you're probably right. But of course there will be a requirement to reinstate the line if rail services (not rail bikes) ever start up again...
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I have been on two rail trails and I would not say they are going gang busters.

The Murray to Mountains trail is one that might be regarded as successful.
8502

All rail trails will become increasingly successful as people learn they can utilise the train to get there.

It's amazing how many people drive to these places then have to arrange to get their car placed or arrange for a bus service etc...very messy.

Mike.
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
It's not a surprising story, I've been following the attempted development of a few rail trails in VIC and SA and the strong objections of adjacent landholders are the biggest obstacle despite the fact that its Crown land in every instance. I guess they don't want to lose their adverse possession as that cattle grazier in NSW obviously didn't.
don_dunstan
Not sure about NSW, but it's probably the same as Victoria. You can't claim adverse possession of Crown Land. If you could, there are thousands of kilometres of unused roads that would be claimed by now.


What they have is illegal possession.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
It's not a surprising story, I've been following the attempted development of a few rail trails in VIC and SA and the strong objections of adjacent landholders are the biggest obstacle despite the fact that its Crown land in every instance. I guess they don't want to lose their adverse possession as that cattle grazier in NSW obviously didn't.
Not sure about NSW, but it's probably the same as Victoria. You can't claim adverse possession of Crown Land. If you could, there are thousands of kilometres of unused roads that would be claimed by now.


What they have is illegal possession.
RustyRick
They SHOULD be told to fence off the easement for public access (again).

There's heaps of road easements all over Victoria and South Australia that are gazetted but aren't used that farmers routinely fence off and use as their own - those land-holders know the deal if they're told to vacate for public access. Railway lines aren't any different - especially as they're permanently set aside as transport corridors (in theory).

Anyway reopening former lines as rail trails gives us an opportunity to repurpose those vintage bridges etc so that they can be preserved into the future.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
He'll get away with it ..............
YM-Mundrabilla
Someone needs to push it and who will do this and raise it with the police.

Its clear he's dismantled and removed govt property and destroyed the formation. His argument is BS as its up to the property owner to protect his cattle from straying onto govt land.

In some ways I do understand his position, the line has been abandoned for what 40 years. Statewide the inaction by the state govt for nearly half a decade for around 3000 km of lines in NSW can be frustrating as the ROW isn't being maintained for pest and fire control and why maintain a fence if you then need to maintain the ROW. To be honest I'm surprised its taken this long and I'm surprised farmers state wide haven't reclaimed the rails to be used as fence posts etc or sold as scrap.

The collapse of the Gundagai bridge the other day is another example of the state of this rotting infrastructure state wide and some of its is becoming a major safety issue.

The state govt really does need to address the elephant in the room and make a decision with what will happen to each line, ie 1) Retain the corridor for future use as a railway with or without infrastructure intact, depending on the time line.
2) Formally close and return to green,
3) Lease it to heritage groups that have a realistic capability of running something on the rails within 5 - 10 years
4) Convert to rail trail

For the later, suitability will heavily depend on location and I agree with Mike, Rail Trails that have a connection with existing passenger rail services may actually prove beneficial for both. Which is why I support conversion of the New England corridor from Armidale through to Warwick or what ever is the most southernly operating section in QR land at the time of opening, but ideally access to Toowoomba which has the only passenger service and long-term likely a commuter service would be ideal. As for the famers BS, this will settle down or at least be seen for what it is as rail trails open up without drama to the adjacent land holders, as has happened elsewhere.

Yes some RT's will be more successful / popular than others, but NSW has a massive opportunity to be the countries hub for RT tourism with a favorable climate, terrain and distance the major centres.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'... All rail trails will become increasingly successful as people learn they can utilise the train to get there. ...'

Sorry to disagree Mike but I have explored doing part of the Mansfield rail trail in stages several times in the last few years getting to/from Tallarook by train. I found absolutely no confidence, commitment or assurance by Vline re the carriage of my bike. Everything seems to be 'front up and hope'.

Probably (?) be OK with multiple Sprinters, a fair wind and a reasonable conductor but having got there I would be terrified of a bustitution or a conductor in a stink on the return trip and being stranded at Tallarook.

Rather reminds me of a train through Box Hill to wherever many years ago when Mike Ronald asked the guard 'does this train stop at xxx?' to which the guard replied 'get on and see'................. Smile

One should be able to book space for a bicycle.
  303gunner Locomotive Driver

As lines closed many farmers would often take up a short length of rail for their needs but I have never heard of this mass lifting of rail before, but in most cases the farmers only had to make application to have track removed on their property, and often was granted.
a6et
There is a section of the NSWGR Tumbarumba Branchline between Rosewood and Tumbarumba where the farmer had long ago removed the rail line and levelled and re seeded the grass to be exactly the same as the rest of his paddocks. No one took any interest, no questions were asked, and certainly no action was taken.

When this section was recently converted to a Railtrail (the only NSW Govt line to do so), the Railtrail skirted the easement through the farmer's paddock completely. The Rail corridor was officially closed by an Act of Parliament and converted to Vacant Crown Land, which was then vested in the Local Council to convert to a Railtrail. However, this was done LOOONG after the farmer had taken possession of the easment, and it seems that he (or she) has legitmately gained ownership of the corridor, sucessfully excluding the Railtrail.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It's hard to find legal comment but it seems Adverse Possession in NSW is 12 years and can be applied, in certain circumstances (30 years perhaps), to Crown land. In Victoria, it's 15 years but doesn't apply to Crown, VicTrack, VicRoads or Council (recently) land.

Presumably the Government could compulsorily acquire the land if there was ever any need to reinstate a rail line. It would probably be on a different alignment anyway.

Use it or lose it.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The thing that really pi*sses me off about this, the whole corridor is only 120 acres, it's agricultural value is nothing.  Whatever use it's put to (trail, railway, heritage site, koala highway, dirt bike race course, NBN conduit), including nothing it all, the value is it's continuity.  But one A-hole can just take "his" little bit of it, destroying the value and potential of the whole thing.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
As lines closed many farmers would often take up a short length of rail for their needs but I have never heard of this mass lifting of rail before, but in most cases the farmers only had to make application to have track removed on their property, and often was granted.
There is a section of the NSWGR Tumbarumba Branchline between Rosewood and Tumbarumba where the farmer had long ago removed the rail line and levelled and re seeded the grass to be exactly the same as the rest of his paddocks. No one took any interest, no questions were asked, and certainly no action was taken.

When this section was recently converted to a Railtrail (the only NSW Govt line to do so), the Railtrail skirted the easement through the farmer's paddock completely. The Rail corridor was officially closed by an Act of Parliament and converted to Vacant Crown Land, which was then vested in the Local Council to convert to a Railtrail. However, this was done LOOONG after the farmer had taken possession of the easment, and it seems that he (or she) has legitmately gained ownership of the corridor, sucessfully excluding the Railtrail.
303gunner
Yeah NSW in theory one of the most difficult places to mount an adverse possession thing because you have to go through state parliament to close the thing in the first place.

Must have had some powerful friends, probably in the National Party. That's how it runs in rural and regional OZ.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
It's hard to find legal comment but it seems Adverse Possession in NSW is 12 years and can be applied, in certain circumstances (30 years perhaps), to Crown land. In Victoria, it's 15 years but doesn't apply to Crown, VicTrack, VicRoads or Council (recently) land.

Presumably the Government could compulsorily acquire the land if there was ever any need to reinstate a rail line. It would probably be on a different alignment anyway.

Use it or lose it.
kitchgp
What the various state governments could do is let all those people occupying railway easements across VIC, SA, NSW etc that they have a legal responsibility to vacate AND maintain fences because the Crown can resume use as a corridor at any time. It should stop any vexatious delays at a local government level dead in the water if they want to oppose the establishment of a rail trail.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
The thing that really pi*sses me off about this, the whole corridor is only 120 acres, it's agricultural value is nothing.  Whatever use it's put to (trail, railway, heritage site, koala highway, dirt bike race course, NBN conduit), including nothing it all, the value is it's continuity.  But one A-hole can just take "his" little bit of it, destroying the value and potential of the whole thing.
djf01
Lots of infrastructure could be saved from permanent destruction through rail trails, many examples of bridges, tunnels, platforms and buildings being saved.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Not as if the cocky has just taken up the tracks, looks like he has done significant earthworks as well. One hopes a sizable book is thrown.
This guy isnt a cocky, hes a grazier.  Cockies are grain farmers given how they dig through the soil with seeds...

Just your random farming tidbit for the day (@BigShunter)!
james.au

I remember a 'cocky' as someone who scratches a living from the soil. And I've definitely heard 'cow cocky' down Camperdown way.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There is a section of the NSWGR Tumbarumba Branchline between Rosewood and Tumbarumba where the farmer had long ago removed the rail line and levelled and re seeded the grass to be exactly the same as the rest of his paddocks. No one took any interest, no questions were asked, and certainly no action was taken.

When this section was recently converted to a Railtrail (the only NSW Govt line to do so), the Railtrail skirted the easement through the farmer's paddock completely. The Rail corridor was officially closed by an Act of Parliament and converted to Vacant Crown Land, which was then vested in the Local Council to convert to a Railtrail. However, this was done LOOONG after the farmer had taken possession of the easment, and it seems that he (or she) has legitmately gained ownership of the corridor, sucessfully excluding the Railtrail.
303gunner
This was last used in 1974 with not even a remote chance it would ever be returned to service as the floods just did what was going to happen anyway within a few years.

In all honesty I think if anyone of us owned that land, we'd probably do the same thing if we felt the same. I drove parrallel to this line about 4 years ago and noticed the line literally running through some farmers front yards. Not sure what came first but a small embankment or cutting with a pair of rails and what ever is left of the sleepers.  If I had no feelings towards anything rail, I could see me cutting the rails up and if required landscaping to my needs.

Should the line need to be reopened you know you will not be liable for anything. The rails are rubbish, the sleepers long converted to worm crap and embankment would need heavily modernizing and after nearly 50 years of abandonment, loss of minor formations wouldn't be hard to accept.

The proximity of some of the farm houses to the ROW is why I can see why some farmers would rightfully oppose a RT.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
The proximity of some of the farm houses to the ROW is why I can see why some farmers would rightfully oppose a RT.
RTT_Rules
Nup, I don't buy that - at the end of the day if you have a house with a Crown Land easement passing by then you have to accept that anything could happen with that easement in the future and you may not have control over it.

Family member just outside Ballarat had a neighbor sell off a portion of their land and the buyers subsequently built a house on it - a bit too close for comfort to the family member's house. But there was nothing they could do about it, the new house didn't even need planning permission because it was already zoned 'low density'.

If you don't like it then move. Or put up a fence to secure your property or protect your privacy.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The proximity of some of the farm houses to the ROW is why I can see why some farmers would rightfully oppose a RT.
Nup, I don't buy that - at the end of the day if you have a house with a Crown Land easement passing by then you have to accept that anything could happen with that easement in the future and you may not have control over it.

Family member just outside Ballarat had a neighbor sell off a portion of their land and the buyers subsequently built a house on it - a bit too close for comfort to the family member's house. But there was nothing they could do about it, the new house didn't even need planning permission because it was already zoned 'low density'.

If you don't like it then move. Or put up a fence to secure your property or protect your privacy.
don_dunstan
Your example has nothing to do with the context I provided. We are not talking sub-divisions, we are talking converting a former railway abandoned for 50 years to a public pedestrian accessway that runs through existing properties. However regarding your family member, I feel their pain as I'm also not a fan of idiots buying acreages and then building houses next to their neighbors boundaries. For future reference what should have happened is that they put in a cavate.  

Back to RT's. I've said many times, most of farmers claims are mostly bogus and as more rail trails get rolled out these claims will be to proven as such and mostly disappear or have little weight with govt.

However when it comes to the location of the ROW when with in very close proximity to the existing house, I think we need to be reasonable. This particular railway is just on 100 years old, so its quite possible some houses predate the railway. However it is one thing to have a lightly used railway next to your house in the middle of your property which in the old days probably had its advantages for getting deliveries, however its another to have a public foot path literally run past your house on a large property.

In most cases and certainly some I saw personally from the highway I don't think its a big drama to do a land exchange and relocate away from the property owners residence. In the case of houses built once the announcement has been made to convert the railway to a RT, then yes, they have to suck it up.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Your example has nothing to do with the context I provided. We are not talking sub-divisions, we are talking converting a former railway abandoned for 50 years to a public pedestrian accessway that runs through existing properties. However regarding your family member, I feel their pain as I'm also not a fan of idiots buying acreages and then building houses next to their neighbors boundaries. For future reference what should have happened is that they put in a cavate.  
RTT_Rules
It's 'caveat', and what I've said is directly relevant to what's being discussed.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

In all honesty I think if anyone of us owned that land, we'd probably do the same thing if we felt the same ....
RTT_Rules

The point is Shane, we DO own the land.  

The fact we've let our neighbour's use it, doesn't make it theirs.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
In all honesty I think if anyone of us owned that land, we'd probably do the same thing if we felt the same ....

The point is Shane, we DO own the land.  

The fact we've let our neighbour's use it, doesn't make it theirs.
djf01
I said....

If you were the farm owner and a former ROW went right past your house, I'm not talking 100m or more away, I'm talking within 50m or so which is what I saw following the railway in a few locations, you'd be likely pi$$ed off too if it was to be converted from a railway to a RT. Hence where possible there needs to be some commonsense applied when converting to RT and where the house, especially a well established property is deemed very close to the former ROW, the ROW is moved in a simple land swap.

I also said that if you had a former ROW going through your property (assume far from your house) and the infrastructure was abandoned for decades, you may also choose to remove all/part of it yourself. Sure if the want the land back, no argument, they take it back.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Your example has nothing to do with the context I provided. We are not talking sub-divisions, we are talking converting a former railway abandoned for 50 years to a public pedestrian accessway that runs through existing properties. However regarding your family member, I feel their pain as I'm also not a fan of idiots buying acreages and then building houses next to their neighbors boundaries. For future reference what should have happened is that they put in a cavate.  
It's 'caveat', and what I've said is directly relevant to what's being discussed.
don_dunstan
No, your talking subdivisions. We are talking existing railways through farms.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

If you were the farm owner and a former ROW went ...
RTT_Rules

It's not a former right of way.
It's not even a right of way (it's publicly owned freehold title).
... and this is the key point ...
the farmer is not the owner.  (And never was).
  billybaxter Chief Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
And here we have it, a bloke who's just helping himself to public land, and would probably raise objections to it becoming a railtrail because if security risks. Probably thinks all townies are a bunch of thieves or that before you know it half the residents of Supermax will be dropping by on their Malvern Stars to say hello.

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