An artist’s impression of a tram running on tracks at the top end of Jonson Street, outside the Beach Hotel.
An artist’s impression of a tram running on tracks at the top end of Jonson Street, outside the Beach Hotel.

Council looks at Old rattler for Byron Bay

A TRAM may rattle its way around Byron Bay’s streets under a council plan to ease traffic congestion in the town.

The tram would link Byron Bay from Sunrise in the west to Byron Bay High School in the south, and would run on existing rail lines that have lain disused since the Casino to Murwillumbah train service was suspended in 2004.

As the town braces for yet another summer of traffic snarls, the Byron Shire Council is looking for alternative solutions to traffic management, with the tram service on top of its list.

The council will form a transport committee to look at the tram proposal, along with other ideas such as extra cycleways and park and ride facilities.

Cr Basil Cameron told the last council meeting that it would cost less to get a tram running than to build a bypass, an option the council has been considering for many years.

As the only tram service outside of Australia’s major cities, the tram could also become an icon for the town.

“It’s better we are remembered for a tram than for our traffic snarls,” Cr Cameron said.

Deputy mayor Tom Tabart said he believed motorised railway carriages were also available for purchase if the council wanted to buy some.

“I don’t know how much each carriage would cost,” he said.

“As the track has been neglected for such an extended period, it would probably cost quite a few million dollars just to get that up to scratch.

“But it would be a great holiday trip and it would be also useful for local commuters.”


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