Why not keep the Casino to Murwillumbah line and join it
up to the new Brisbane to Gold Coast line. Trains could then run from Sydney to
Brisbane via the Gold Coast?
This has been a dream of the Northern Rivers now for more than a century.
The cost to do this would run into billions of dollars. The other problem is
that NSW track (standard gauge) is a different width to QLD track (narrow gauge).
If the population of the Northern Rivers was the same as Brisbane or the Gold
Coast the idea might be feasible. Wait another 30 to 40 years. In the mean
time we could better spend our money and energy building railways where they
are needed. A good place to start would be to extend the line from Robina
to Coolangatta airport.
Why not extend the line from
Murwillumbah to the airport at Coolangatta?
If only money could grow on trees! It's a great
idea, but again money and energy could be better put to work in other places.
Who will pay for, and maintain
That's a question I can't answer. Ask me that
again if the idea ever gets off the ground.
The train is good for tourists visiting the Northern
Rivers. Taking it away could effect tourism.
Only a small percentage of tourists come to the NR by train. Most fly in, drive
or come by bus. have you ever spent an hour or 2 at the bus stand at Byron Bay?
Anytime of the day or night it is a hive of activity. At the same time the
railway station is almost deserted. I often wonder if most of the people who
visit Byron bay even know that the town is serviced by rail. Travelers have
become so used to flying, driving or taking a coach they don't think of using
The residents of Lismore
and Byron Bay like the train. Why get rid of it?
Many of the locals I spoke to where in favour of keeping the train as they liked
the sound of it's whistle and the romantic clatter it made as went through the
hills on a misty winters evening. When I asked them when was the last time they
used it most told me they flew to Sydney or drove down. It was faster, more
comfortable and convenient than the train. When I asked the foreign backpackers
if they traveled by train they said it was too slow and more expensive than the
bus. Some said they preferred the bus as they met other backpackers and had a
ball of a time. The train sounded a boring way to travel. Most Sydney residents
I spoke to said they couldn't afford the time to catch the train so they just
flew up to the Gold Coast or Ballina and caught an airport transfer bus to
Byron. Most of the families drove to Byron Bay.