Whistle blown on Casino rail rip-up

THE lobby group dedicated to bringing trains back to the closed Murwillumbah to Casino rail line has warned the NSW Government not to repeat the mistakes of the past by ripping up the railway.

The Trains On Our Tracks group (TOOT) yesterday pointed to the huge costs incurred by the Queensland Government in re-creating a rail corridor to Coolangatta after it ripped up the old line in the 1960s.

The group is furious the NSW Government is planning special legislation to allow it to rip up unused rail lines, turn the land into bikeways or sell it to developers without a special act of parliament for each case.

“Just over the border the Queensland Government is building new rail lines south to cope with growing demand,” said TOOT president Karen Kolbe yesterday.

“In 1961 the Queensland Government stopped the rail service to Coolangatta/Tweed Heads. At huge expense they are now bringing it back.

“If the old corridor still existed then the new service could end where people actually live and work - in Coolangatta /Tweed Heads itself rather than the airport.”

Ms Kolbe said that for years North Coast people had been told the Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor would remain.

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