Casino - Murwillumbah Railway
Line closure proposal
Conversion to walking , cycle and  public recreation trail
by Kerry Whitfield

 
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A lineal parkway from Casino to Murwillumbah 
It was announced by Railcorp on the 7th of April 2004 that trains will cease running between Casino and Murwillumbah.
Click to enlarge Then on 16th May 2005 the last Murwillumbah XPT departed Murwillumbah for Sydney
Link to more pictures of the last train
Click to enlarge Link to more pics of the last special train (CPH Railmotor) Last special train ran on Saturday and Sunday 25th and 26th October 2003.

If we start planning now, rather than the land be sold off, the community could retain this valuable piece of land that could be used as a recreational trail for walking, cycling, horse riding etc. If in the future a rail line again becomes a viable proposition, the original alignment is still in place for an easy restoration back to a railway again. In the mean time the trail will help preserve rail heritage, including bridges and buildings. Some of the old wooden bridges on the line were built from pristine hardwood cut locally. Rail bridges like these need to be preserved as their presence is growing less in number as time passes. Railway buildings such as stations could be converted into cafes and rail heritage centers. If we don't work to preserve the line, floods, landslides, high rainfall, humidity and nature could cause the line to disappear back to nature very quickly. A good example is what has happened to the Dorrigo alignment. The jungle has taken over! Do we really want the whole line to end up looking like the Bangalow station is today?
 Link to recent image of Bangalow station


The line runs through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state of New South Wales. This nice flat railway land would make an excellent walk, bicycle way. A certain attraction for the areas growing tourist industry.  If we start to make plans now, we can prevent this valuable community asset from being sold off to the private sector.

Railway once the transport hub of the Tweed Valley.
The Casino - Murwillumbah branch line was once the transport hub of the Northern Rivers. Trains took kids to school, primary produce to market, bought in supplies and passengers to and from Sydney and "whistle stops" along the way. 

Trucks and buses take over.
Trucks, buses, airplanes and private autos can do the same job faster and more efficiently in country areas. Australia's rail system  now concentrates its energies in transporting fast containerized freight between the main capital cities, the movement of coal and grain to our ports for export and public transport in highly populated urban areas Concentrating in just a few specific areas the rail system has become highly efficient and now carries more freight and passengers today than it ever carried.

Now only one passenger train each day, no freight.
The Casino - Murwillumbah line carries virtually no freight and only one passenger train up and down each day, plus an occasional tourist train. If the line were closed, road coaches could efficiently convey passengers from the main Sydney-Brisbane line at Casino and intermediate stops to Murwillumbah.

Expensive future for line without freight traffic.
Railways are expensive to maintain and freight services traditionally subsidized passenger services. The line was built with lots of curves and wooden bridges making it a very slow line for passenger travel. Wooden bridges built many years ago are expensive to maintain and will soon need replacing.


Imagine.... 
Cycling over flat  terrain all the way from Murwillumbah to Casino. No traffic, no pollution, a beautiful, quiet environment. Join us to make this dream possible.

 

 

 

 


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