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Fast train a hit with locals

NORTHERN Rivers residents have welcomed suggestions a high speed rail link between Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne could include a stop at Lismore.

However, the suggestion it could be in place by 2025 has been greeted with scepticism.

The Northern Star yesterday reported the $84 billion project had won the backing of Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and, locally, from Page MP Kevin Hogan.

A report prepared by Beyond Zero Emissions in collaboration with the German Aerospace Centre and the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute suggested the $84 billion project could be ready within 11 years.

The line would include 21 stops, including at Lismore, the Gold Coast, Grafton, and Coffs Harbour.

Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, who was on the working party for the last fast train proposal, was among those to comment, saying this proposal looked better than the last one.

"The proposed 45mins to Brisbane and 2.5hrs to Sydney could make it possible to commute to work in a capital from Lismore," she said.

Plenty of people thought the idea sounded great - if and when it happened.

"It will never happen! We have only been talking about this for 40 years," was one typical sceptical comment.

A reader poll on the idea has also had strong support with more than 500 people voting as of 7am today and only 5% saying they wouldn't use the service. An impressive 70% of people voting on the poll say they would use the train without qualification, while just under a quarter say their decision would depend on timetabling and ticket prices.

The poll remains open until noon today.

Topics:  fast train, high speed rail



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