Newsletter 1 January 2021

NORTHERN RIVERS RAIL LTD NEWS BULLETIN NO. 1, JANUARY 2021

JOIN US TO BRING BACK RAIL SERVICES, WITH A BIKE TRAIL – WE CAN HAVE BOTH!

As a result of the widespread concern held by a majority of residents in the Northern Rivers, that future potential rail services will be lost to our region if the rail trail is allowed to pull up our tracks, a new not-for-profit public company, Northern Rivers Rail Ltd, has been registered to bring rail services back to the Casino – Murwillumbah line, working with those community members and others who support the return of rail.

I am writing to you as someone who has expressed interest or may be interested in becoming a member of Northern Rivers Rail Ltd to work towards this important outcome.

Please see attached our NRR Objects and our membership form for you to sign and return via email or post. Please deposit $20 into our Summerland Credit Union account or send your form and a cheque or money order to NRR PO Box 83, Ocean Shores 2483.

We, as many of the collective community of the Northern Rivers, are extremely concerned and even angry that our rail line will be severed from the main NSW country line, cutting us off from the rest of NSW, if a rail trail is allowed to continue on the path of destroying this crucial infrastructure. We can have both rail and rail trail together along the whole line!

One very environmentally sound option that many are advocating for are recycled plastic raised cycle/walking paths, to be built beside the railroad tracks. This in itself prevents thousands of tons of plastic from going into landfill. They are Australian made, in Victoria and South Australia, and could be manufactured in NSW.

These specially designed plastic raised constructions over low lying parts of the track will be more enjoyable to ride on for cyclists and more comfortable to walk on than bitumen or concrete. A maintenance track already exists along much of the line that can be utilised for a bike trail, in sections that are not low lying.

Instead of sticking to a boring straight line following the railway track, through cuttings where bike riders would not see the views, better routes can be found around trees and closer to streams and including other pleasant outlooks. The raised cycle ways can be tailored to the landscape to make the journey more enjoyable, more inspiring and more comfortable for travellers.

Our intention, through gaining a large number of members from our region and beyond, and through donations, is to pay for any extra costs involved in erecting these wonderful practical structures, so that everyone in the Northern Rivers can still utilise the railway for its original purpose with a railway service we intend to reinstate. The line was built almost 127 years ago, because it was so needed then, as it is now, by so many people.

We can work together to create a win-win-win outcome, for all stakeholders. Viable rail services, which we can guarantee, from our research, will be hugely supported, will bring great economic, social and environmental benefits to our locals, visitors and communities.

We are working to bring rail services back, as well as the bike trail within the rail corridor.

We CAN have both!

On behalf of Northern Rivers Rail Ltd we trust you will join us and spread the word to others.

Lydia Kindred, Secretary, Northern Rivers Rail Ltd