Concern about development of rail corridor
COMMITTED supporters for the return of rail from Lismore to Murwillumbah line met at the Lismore railway station on Saturday to rally against the proposal of a new 'Rail Trail' bill said to go before state parliament.
Tomorrow, May 15, will mark 125 years since the rail began and 15 years since the service ceased.
Lydia Kindred, co-secretary of the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group (NRRAG) and TOOT (Trains On Our Tracks) said if this legislation was changed by parliament the current protection will be lost and the railway corridor will become open to widespread development.
"We now know through rail experts, and from the cost of establishing the Byron solar train, it will likely cost only one-fifth to one-tenth of what the government has been spruiking as a near billion dollar price tag, to bring our rail back,” she said.
The rail groups are concerned with regaining services for the old, young, disabled, isolated, workers, students, those living in and visiting the region.
Ms Kindred said they could all benefit from "regular, well-timed passenger rail services with some freight, and a bike trail beside the tracks”.
She also said this service could be complemented by "on-demand solar powered mini buses to the stations and outlying areas”.
The rally was supported by performances from local musicians and speakers from NRRAG who urged residents supporting the restoration of the railway to call their local member and voice their opinion about the rail service.