Railway unity appreciated
Dear Editor, Congratulations to the Narrandera, Urana, Jerilderie and Berrigan Shires and the City Council of Shepparton for their efforts to reopen the TocumwalNarrandera rail link.
Their efforts have a close relationship with the work of the former Tocumwal-mangalore Railway League which aimed to standardise the broad gauge link between Mangalore and Tocumwal, thus giving Australia a second standard gauge rail link between Melbourne and Sydney that would have been of great benefit to the people and industries of the Goulburn, Murray and Murrumbidgee Valleys.
This rail proposal has an interesting history.
About 20 or more years ago members of the Tocumwal Mangalore Railway League invited the then Victorian Minister of Transport to visit Tocumwal during a Victorian State election campaign and hear the views of the League members on the rail bridge at Tocumwal.
The Minister listened to the comments of the League members and then put his foot on the broad gauge line and said words to the effect, “If we are elected the new Government will shift this line from here to there” and he shifted his foot about 51⁄ inches towards the other rail, indicating that he would standardise the Mangalore-tocumwal rail link.
the Liberal Government was not re-elected and Labor had no interest in the line.
It is notable that some time later the NSW Government put several miles of long length welded rail between Narrandera and Morundah, not long before the link was closed.
There is strong evidence that both State Governments – NSW and Victoria had plans for improvement of this rail link to serve the people and industries of the Goulburn, Murray and Murrumbidgee Valleys and I believe that capable Shire Councillors and people of those river valleys have what it take to give Australia the rail link that is needed.
Yours etc Kevin O’neill OAM