TRAIN traveller Marjorie Hayes (at right) with friend Lorraine Ives in front of the badly lit park
TRAIN traveller Marjorie Hayes (at right) with friend Lorraine Ives in front of the badly lit park

Left in dark



ALL Marjorie Hayes wanted was to catch a train to visit her friend at Uki.

Instead the Sydney senior was dumped in the dark, across the road from a hotel, with her friend nowhere in sight and a heavy suitcase to lug.

This is the reality of life without the train line for visitors to Murwillumbah.

Like all passengers, Ms Hayes was dropped at a bus stop at the Tourist Information Centre in Murwillumbah - a badly lit area across the road from a pub.

She had been told in Sydney that the bus that was to transfer her from the train station in Casino would, naturally, let her off at the train station in Murwillumbah.

That was where her friend Lorraine Ives was waiting for her.

"We saw the bus go past and pull up down the road. We wondered what was going on - if it was Marjorie's bus," said Ms Ives.

Faced with a walk down a dark and un-familiar street to meet her friend, Ms Hayes decided to hold a sit-down protest on the bus until it took her to safety.

"It went on for a few minutes until the driver got out and came over and told us they were waiting at the other bus stop," said Ms Ives.

"The driver said insurance wouldn't let him come up to the station."

Signs at the train station say that coaches travelling north are supposed to stop at the Tourist Information Centre where Ms Hayes was dropped.

Calls to Countrylink failed to find out why she was given the incorrect information.

However, Ms Ives said the incident raised questions over the suitability of the northbound bus stop.

"It was 9.20 at night and men were leaving the pub. It wasn't a very good situation at all," she said.

"I can understand why she didn't walk over to get us. Another young man on the bus agreed. It is far from ideal."

Tweed mayor Warren Polglase said Ms Hayes' story was probably one of many that showed the community needed the train back.

"The government needs to listen because the community wants the line back for $30 million," he said.

"They need to make a decision quickly otherwise there will be real difficulty getting it back on the track."

Tweed MP Neville Newell could not be reached for comment.



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