Light-rail ve­hi­cles the key

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

PA­PER­WORK has been the down­fall of many a great idea.

But thanks to Rail Rid­ers founder Neil Op­patt, the moun­tain of pa­per­work that goes into mak­ing a rail line busi­ness is one hur­dle the Bur­nett Boyne Rail Line Preser­va­tion Group can over­come.

“By their very na­ture rail­ways re­quire sub­stan­tial safety sys­tems, but this is where we can help,” he said.

Be­cause Rail Rid­ers Ltd al­ready has Aus­tralian Rolling Stock and Safety Sys­tems ac­cred­i­ta­tions, a Monto rail park would be able to come un­der this um­brella.

And any re­in­stated track will meet Rail Rid­ers’ Aus­tralian Track Stan­dards and Reg­u­la­tory Com­pli­ance frame­works.

“On­go­ing main­te­nance, in­sur­ance and track re­in­state­ment costs will still be sig­nif­i­cant, but we have al­ready been through the rig moral of meet­ing these reg­u­la­tory stan­dards,” Mr Op­patt said. “If you hadn’t done it be­fore, get­ting this ac­cred­i­ta­tion would be dif­fi­cult.”

The other ma­jor ben­e­fit in the Rail Rid­ers plan is that they would pro­vide the light-rail ve­hi­cles.

“His­toric lines run­ning heavy trains have strug­gled, all over the world, to cope with on­go­ing fund­ing costs for main­te­nance and rolling stock,” Mr Op­patt said.

But light-rail cars are much cheaper to run, do less dam­age to the old lines and can run on tracks of lower stan­dard, so re­duc­ing the main­te­nance costs.

Mr Op­patt sug­gested with this huge po­ten­tial for tourism sit­ting in our back­yard, now is the time for a surge in com­mu­nity sup­port.

PHO­TOS: EMILY SMITH

Jock McLur­can, Jack Muller, Neil Op­patt, Drew Forsyth, John Gur­ney and Mike Goebel all have high hopes for light-rail tourism in the North Bur­nett area.

Neil Op­patt says the Many Peaks to Kalpowar line cer­tainly has the “wow” fac­tor.

Neil Op­patt and John Gur­ney were im­pressed with the con­di­tion and in­fra­struc­ture of the line.

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