Spec­u­la­tion ends as last train leaves town

LOOK­ING BACK: April 6, 2004

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS -

ON APRIL 6, 2004, the an­nounce­ment was made that the Mur­willum­bah­casino rail link would be closed.

The clo­sure came just months into a promised 12month mora­to­rium on the ser­vice, de­spite re­peated as­sur­ances by Tweed MP Neville Newell that the ser­vice was safe.

In 2003 Mr Newell called spec­u­la­tion on the line clo­sure “scare­mon­ger­ing” and just six weeks be­fore the clo­sure as­sured the

Daily News the line would not be closed.

On April 6, Mr Newell could of­fer lit­tle re­sponse, say­ing he was an­gry and dis­ap­pointed and that “I have called for an ur­gent meet­ing with the Min­is­ter for Trans­port (Michael Costa) to dis­cuss the main­te­nance of the ser­vice”.

The North­ern Rivers XPT reached the end of the line on April 6 when Trea­surer Michael Egan an­nounced the daily train ser­vice would be can­celled and re­placed by a twice-daily bus ser­vice.

The bus ser­vice would cater for all the ex­ist­ing train stop towns plus an­other eight new towns not ser­viced by the train.

Mur­willum­bah rail­way sta­tion ceased op­er­a­tion, and the Mur­willum­bah­casino line closed down, on May 16, 2004, after the last XPT pulled out of town.

PHOTO: TWEED RE­GIONAL MU­SEUM

END OF THE LINE: Pas­sen­gers board at Mur­willum­bah Rail­way Sta­tion in the 1920s.

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