Northern Rivers Rail Trail

The proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail would turn the now disused train line from Casino to Murwillumbah into a walking, cycling, horse riding and electric vehicle track connecting the Far North Coast of New South Wales. Locals and visitors alike would enjoy this healthy alternative transport and supporting tourism businesses could blossom along the trail.

Covering 132 kilometres, the trail would reconnect communities that enjoyed train service from 1894 until  2004. According to proponents of the project, there is also potential for sustainable transport options. “It is important to preserve the rail corridor as a community asset for any potential future commuter use such as solar/electric commuter vehicles, light rail, mono rail etc.”

Byron Shire Council “acknowledges that light rail services and the rail trail can co-exist as part of a multi-modal corridor on the Casino to Murwillumbah line and the council supports government investment in light rail public transport services within its shire and beyond, wherever they are needed.” However, the newly released Casino to Murwillumbah Rail Trail Study commissioned by Don Page, Minister for the North Coast, indicates that much of the existing track would be removed and estimates the cost of opening the trail at $75.5m.

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail (NRRT)  steering committee includes local businesses, philanthropists (the Sourdough Group),  volunteers, councillors and tourism workers. Chairperson, Pat Grier, says ‘The rail trail would act as the spine that links a network of communities, regional towns and villages. It would provide the platform for economic development, new businesses and jobs for the region.”

by Ed Silk Byron Bay

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