Murwillumbah and District Business Chamber president Toni Zuschke at the closed railway station.
Murwillumbah and District Business Chamber president Toni Zuschke at the closed railway station.

Old rail ticket's a keeper

THAT old rail ticket for a journey to or from the now-closed Murwillumbah Railway station could be worth a little more than just the memories – but not by much.

Train tickets for journeys on the line may soon become collectors’ items.

Already, a specialist mail order firm which specialises in collectibles such as stamps has offered a Sydney- to-Murwillumbah train ticket, little bigger than a stamp, for sale on the internet trading site eBay.

The firm sought $1.08 for the economy fare ticket issued at Sydney rail station Chatswood for travel from Sydney to Murwillumbah.

Unfortunately for Sydney Stamps and Transit Items, which claims to have been operating a mail order service for more than 40 years, the ticket has failed to attract any bids so far.

According to Karin Kolbe, president of the lobby group TOOT (Trains On Our Tracks) the ticket would not be rare.

“We know from talking to some of the booking staff who worked there the trains were absolutely full,” she said.“Particularly in holiday periods, you couldn’t get a seat.

“TOOT is not in the business of running a nostalgia exercise, but it is interesting.”

Ms Kolbe said her organisation, rather than following the sale of old, used tickets, was more interested in seeing the return of sales of “real tickets that will actually meet a need”.

“TOOT just keep getting more people coming to us saying that they don’t understand why we don’t have trains.

“There is a worldwide trend back to rail.

“One of the things that has been coming out is that the number of trucks on the Pacific Highway is set to double.

“All this money is being spent on the highway, but it is still going to be very dangerous.”

Anger over the NSW Labor government’s decision before the last state election to close the Murwillumbah-to-Casino line continues to bedevil the government, which late last year was forced to shelve legislation which would have allowed it to sell off the railway land or turn it into bicycle paths.

In October, Tweed Shire councillors, in a rare show of unity, voted unanimously to tell the NSW government it had “serious concern” that the subsequently shelved rail trails bill would lead to the sale of the Murwillumbah-to-Casino rail corridor.



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