USING the Northern Rivers' abandoned rail lines to run vintage Melbourne trams is one proposal to be discussed at a rail forum in Byron Bay on Thursday.
The idea for a Byron Bay TramLink has been put forward by public transport advocate Peter Finch, of Brisbane, who developed feasibility studies for the idea in Queensland.
"The tram idea will use Melbourne trams sourced from private owners and museums and could provide a passenger transport service for locals and visitors as well as a tourist service," Mr Finch said.
"The rail trail could work in with a tram service with trams taking bikes from Byron Bay to Mullumbimby or Bangalow for further exploration in and around those towns," he said
Mr Finch said the trams had not been used on rail tracks in Brisbane because there were different gauge sizes between available trams and Queensland tracks, but in NSW the track gauge and the Melbourne tram gauge were standardised and would match.
He said the electric tram could use sustainable energy, including solar, and offered an environmentally sound form of transport that would promote the region's clean and green image.
"The Byron Bay TramLink could be the first clean energy transportation service in the country," he said.
Trams on the tracks would need an overhead powerline installed, he said.
Options for using the rail line will be discussed at the Critical Conversations forum at the Byron Community Centre on Thursday, July 17, at 6.30pm.