Push for trains back on track
Group holding meeting to discuss Casino-M’bah service
SUPPORTERS of trains for the Northern Rivers will hold a meeting in Casino next week in an effort to stop plans for a rail trail.
The Northern Rivers Railway Action Group (NRRAG) is holding the meeting at the Casino RSM on Thursday at 6pm.
NRRAG spokeswoman Beth Shelley said many people were pessimistic about the possibility of trains returning to the region.
“When I talk to people about having trains running on the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line it seems they don’t believe it will ever happen,” she said. “They’ve been told it’s unaffordable and the condition of the track is really bad.”
Ms Shelley said NRRAG believed the government “deliberately over-inflated” the cost of restoring the rail line, and that the track was in good condition in “many areas”.
“To have regular trains running several times a day between Casino and Murwillumbah is affordable and would be of huge benefit to the people, the economy and environment of the Northern Rivers,” she said.
“However, we are at risk of losing our railway track altogether if the proposal to rip up the tracks to replace them with a pushbike track goes ahead. The cost of rail is about 20 times cheaper than roads and rail is 200 times safer.
“The Tweed Shire Council has decided to hold a consultation with the local community concerning the rail trail proposal at Murwillumbah and whether people want rail services or a bike path.
“It is essential to consider all the facts before making such an important decision.
“Richmond Valley Council could do the same.”
Thursday night’s meeting will include a screening of NRRAG’s new film, Bringing Trains Back to the Northern Rivers. There will be several speakers followed by a Q and A session.