Women walk fine line to get back trains
By RACHEL AFFLICK firstname.lastname@example.org WHEN Byron Bay woman Lois Vickery thinks of how her forefathers ‘worked their butts off’ to build the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line, she feels only frustration.
The line was closed in May, 2004, despite protests from the community.
“It’s sitting here going to waste. They built it for a reason,” Ms Vickery said.
Yesterday she joined a group walk of the line from Bangalow to Binna Burra to raise awareness of the lack of a train service in the area.
Byron Bay woman Barbara Turner came up with the idea, thinking it would be a fun way to highlight the fact the track was still being used, even if not by the trains.
“You wonder how many others are walking the track apart from us?” she said.
“It has become a bit of a walking trail. But it would be far better if the trains came back.”
Ms Turner used to catch the train from Byron Bay to Sydney, and continues to see it as a safer alternative to using the roads.
Another walker, Maxine Karon, said it was crazy the Northern Rivers lacked a train service, despite the growing awareness of global warming and climate change.
“The fact is you’ve already got a railway line in place,” she said.
During their walk of the three-kilometre stretch of track, the women inspected it for damage and said it was clear the line was ‘very fixable’. Byron Bay resident Karin Kolbe said although the track appeared rusty, it would be able to take trains for another 100 years.
“Our roads are congested so we need to be looking to the future and running trains,” she said.