The Northern Rivers Railway Action Group is concerned about new funding for a rail trail.
The Northern Rivers Railway Action Group is concerned about new funding for a rail trail. Digby Hildreth

Train lobby group 'deeply disappointed' by rail trail funds

THE Northern Rivers Railway Action Group says it is "deeply disappointed” that Federal funding has been announced for the rail trail project.

On Friday, Page MP Kevin Hogan and Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the first stage of the rail trail, the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek section, would be funded.

But NRRAG spokeswoman, Beth Shelley, said her group was concerned about the future of the land once the railway line was closed and became Crown land.

"It is possible that the State government could then decide to open the Casino to Murwillumbah railway for development,” she said.

"State Rail owns a large section of Byron CBD and is already attempting to sell some of that land despite needing to take it to parliament first so it's not hard to see that once the government gets the chance they would happily sell the whole corridor.

"The popularity of the Byron train is proving how many people would like to use trains in this area.

"There has never been any public consultation on whether the local community wants to keep the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line for future trains in the region.

"We believe rail would be even more successful if it was extended up to the Gold Coast and included freight.

"The people of this community need to understand that it would be affordable, viable and save lives and if they want regular trains running from Casino to the Gold Coast they need to speak up.

"If the politicians who are meant to represent us in this area allow us to lose this important piece of transport infrastructure we believe they will regret it in the future.”



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