Rail Trail

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The Northern Rivers Rail Trail is proposed to connect Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Bangalow, Lismore and Casino.

When completed the trail will be 132-kilometres long and pass through some of the most scenic countryside in New South Wales.

The trail will follow the old North Coast railway line and promises to be a drawcard for walkers, hikers, runners and cyclists. It will offer a new way to explore the region, while helping preserve the area’s history and heritage.


Vegetation clearing works have begun along the rail corridor to allow prospective tenderers for the Design and Construct contract for the Tweed section to gain access to the corridor to assess the condition of the infrastructure and prepare their detailed design proposals as part of their tenders.


A contract to design and construct the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is due to be awarded about March 2021.


The timeline for delivery of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail - Tweed section can be viewed at the top of the right-hand column on this page.


Drop-in to Burrinbar to learn more and ask questions

Members of the community are invited to drop-in to the School of Arts at Burringbar to learn more about the Tweed section of the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

The sessions have been scheduled to assist those people who do not have computer access learn more about the Tweed project, which Council is managing on behalf of the State and Federal governments.

The sessions will be managed in accordance with current Covid-19 personal distancing restrictions. Attendees MUST register on entry to the hall and observe the hall's Covid-19 capacity limit.

The sessions will be held at the School of Arts hall at Burringbar on:

  • Monday 1 March from 1- 4pm, and
  • Thursday 11 March from 2.30-4pm.

Alternatively catch up by watching a recording of the online Information Session of 11 February 2021 in the Video section in the column on the right on this page.


The Northern Rivers Rail Trail is proposed to connect Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Bangalow, Lismore and Casino.

When completed the trail will be 132-kilometres long and pass through some of the most scenic countryside in New South Wales.

The trail will follow the old North Coast railway line and promises to be a drawcard for walkers, hikers, runners and cyclists. It will offer a new way to explore the region, while helping preserve the area’s history and heritage.


Vegetation clearing works have begun along the rail corridor to allow prospective tenderers for the Design and Construct contract for the Tweed section to gain access to the corridor to assess the condition of the infrastructure and prepare their detailed design proposals as part of their tenders.


A contract to design and construct the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is due to be awarded about March 2021.


The timeline for delivery of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail - Tweed section can be viewed at the top of the right-hand column on this page.


Drop-in to Burrinbar to learn more and ask questions

Members of the community are invited to drop-in to the School of Arts at Burringbar to learn more about the Tweed section of the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

The sessions have been scheduled to assist those people who do not have computer access learn more about the Tweed project, which Council is managing on behalf of the State and Federal governments.

The sessions will be managed in accordance with current Covid-19 personal distancing restrictions. Attendees MUST register on entry to the hall and observe the hall's Covid-19 capacity limit.

The sessions will be held at the School of Arts hall at Burringbar on:

  • Monday 1 March from 1- 4pm, and
  • Thursday 11 March from 2.30-4pm.

Alternatively catch up by watching a recording of the online Information Session of 11 February 2021 in the Video section in the column on the right on this page.


Guest Book

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Fantastic news, very excited hat this will breathe life into a lot of small towns along the route and become a fantastic drawcard to the Byron Hinterland and the Tweed. As an operator of Guided E Bike tours, at Beyond Byron E Bikes, I love the idea that I can help people explore our beautiful region and not have to travel on the roads. This will no doubt prove to be a wonderful success and I cannot wait for Byronshire to get on board, even if it's just the Mullum to Crabbes Creek section to make it more accessible from Byron and the motorway. My only disappointment is waiting till Dec 2022!

Beyond Byron E Bikes 6 days ago

Many people in the community, including myself, would like the railtrail to be created alongside the railway tracks. Everyone I have ever spoken to about the railway is still angry, to be honest, that the trains were taken away in the first place. While it's clear the state gov doesn't care about the wishes or needs of our community, the tracks could at least be left so that we can reinstate the trains as a community. It's hard to fathom that we are going so far backwards with our trains and rails removed. It's actively disadvantaging the mobility of those in our community without high incomes in multiple ways, which further entrenches their disadvantage and increases the difference they already experience. Having used the trains and their local bus replacements many times, I can assure you that the bus services are no adequate replacement! Two hours of nausea between Murwillumbah and Casino with the seatbelt somehow digging into your throat, means that the trip is avoided at all costs unless desperately necessary. Connections to family and friends who live further afield are that bit harder to maintain with so many barriers already in place. These practical discriminations against us as a regional community with a high degree of poverty are more jarring when the immense wealth of our nation and its resources is considered.
While Australia is generally sparsely populated, it is a disservice to us all that we do not have rail linking the country, and incredibly short sighted that we are moving further away from rather than towards this idea.
It's also a great loss to the people of Murwillumbah and surrounds that we don't have train access to Lismore. We would have more opportunities if we could study in Lismore, or work or have more exchange between the towns.
Soon governments at all levels will need to address carbon emissions. I welcome the railtrail as the backbone of the bike trails throughout the area that will benefit us all in the future. It makes sense to keep the option for trains in the future open, as they will assist us to reduce emissions and meet targets that will come into being in the foreseeable future.
It is also simply the wishes of the majority of our community that the railtrail coexists with our beloved railway, not replace it. We can then take over the tracks and future trains, and be richer and better for it in many more ways than I can list here! I am sure the benefits of trains to communities has been written about and studied a few times in the last 200 years too.
Please hear us as a community. We deserve to be heard. Support us to create a strong community together.

Gemma Seren 27 days ago

Looking forward to the Byron to Sunrise service being extended to Mullumbimby. Hopefully then a train service also to Murwillumbah.
Please ensure this is considered.

WillB about 1 month ago

I am utterly gobsmacked that the historic train tracks and existing infrastructure is to be removed for a small percentage of our population, lycra wearing, latte sipping folk. Who do not bring revenue to the areas known to have existing trails. Locals point out they bring packed lunches and arrive on public transport with bikes in tow!
The argument of economics falls on deaf ears... to replace and recreate will exceed repair.
To suggest trains would not be used is a crime! We have had significant growth in thirty years yet our youth, non drivers and elderly pensioners still CAN'T access the nearest towns or Tweed for work or study!
We have a higher than average rain fall with temperatures climbing, No phone reception, numerous deadly snakes, carcinogenic soil along the tracks, farmers biosecurity etc etc.
Who is to police it?
Why were we not consulted as land holders?
I most certainly have no problem with bikes being ridden but for the cost of our Nation not having trains between our major cities I am embarrassed!, it is deeply short sighted and benefits a minority!
If we had trains or were able to commute between Casino and Tweed i'm sure you'd find our town thriving..
the reality is it does not thrive as we are isolated, unless you are from the elite few who have more $ than sense and enjoy art and coffee!

KDD about 1 month ago

This is a case of a council acting contrary to the wishes of the majority of ratepayers. Surveys have made it clear the majority want the line reopened.

As a former Track Manager with Rail Infrastructure Corp and having inspected the entirety of the line, the line can be reopened to its former operational state for less than the cost of the proposed rail trail.

Ratepayers are being duped and mislead by the railtrail proponents. This is an exercise of cost shifting by the state government and a spoke in the wheel of removing the line and selling off the land. The rail trail proponents can't point to a financially viable example in Australia. Then there are the bio security issues, the assumptions that farmers will allow every Tom, Dick and Harry onto their properties with horses and pets.

Council, you do not have the authority of the people of Tweed Heads nor the people of nsw to pull the track up. It's not your money. You act without authority. The majority have told you they dont want it ripped up. They want trains restored. It's only politics standing in the way of this line being reopened. I'm happy to provide my services free to council to show council just how easy it is to reopen the line. I can be contacted at fisherbusaustralia@gmail.com My area of responsibility as Track Manager included 200km of the main south. 33 staff. 500km of track in total including associated branch lines. The rail trail will become a liability of the council shifting from the state. Currently council bears none of the cost of the corridor maintenance. Council will bear 100% of the cost if it's converted to a rail trail. Vegetation control slashing the corridor. Noxious weed control. Bush fire hazard reduction. Public liability. Erosion and sediment control. Fencing. There isn't a profitable rail trail in Australia. They are all a financial liability. The line was profitable until the Carr Labor government mismanaged the line replacing a profitable motorail that generated $22m/pa, $11.5m in profits paying for the upkeep of the line, replacing the motorail with an ill suited loss producing xpt.

Brian Fisher 5 months ago

Who is going to pay to maintain the entire 30-metre wide corridor ? Tell the truth, TSC, it will be Tweed Ratepayers. Who will pick up the litter and clean the graffiti? All bicycle paths attract this vandalism. If you have ever actually seen one. Why are you persisting with this when it has been opposed by the elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the entire life of this elected council? Why are you not considering the off formation option that was voted for by the councillors? who is running this council? the staff or the elected councillors ?? The RT was Barry Longlands pet project. He was voted out, why are you persisting with a dumped councilors misguided dream? Why have you only shown people who support this project ?? More than half the people of the shire are definitely against it. Why don't you build a bicycle path from Murwillumbah to Tweed Heads instead? And give us genuine cyclists safe access to the coast and the coastal cycleway? This RT goes nowhere. . There is something very sinister behind this rip off of public land. Wake up people of Tweed. This is a trojan horse, intended to rob us of any chance of restoring our railway. Trains from byron bay would bring genuine tourist visits to our town and genuinely revive the economy of the town. Get ready for the next election and punish the pariahs who are planning to rip up our railway

WFenelon 5 months ago

A wonderful project. Extraordinarily successful in NZ in particular and a true tourist draw card for the Tweed.

CHRIS HOY over 1 year ago

Hi! As the owner of www.theranchbyronbay.com an adventure horse trekking company I am very excited about the the Rail Trail as we ride all over the Byron and Tweed Shires and I would love to bring riders from all over the world to ride the Rail Trail bringing tourism to the small towns along the way. Keep up the amazing work!!
Warm Wishes,
Shanti

TheRanchByronBay over 1 year ago

I'm 58, have lived in theTweed for over 12 years and ride my MTB more than 10km btwn 3 and 7 times per week. I think this rail trail is a fantastic idea - I fully support it. I woudl hope it leads to more bike riders visiting or living the area and the on-going development of quality mountain bike trails through out the municipality. Nic Gambold

jen atkins over 1 year ago

It's a great tragedy that this project is going ahead at the behest of out of touch councillors and an elite miniority group. There was zero community consultation, as it was clear from the beginning that the decision was already made. The Tweed is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. We needed real public transport options and it was very clear that the majority of residents agreed. Yet, instead, we are getting a glorified bicycle track for a few fitness fanatics to have fun. Kudos to them! They've completely disregarded the wishes of their fellow Tweed residents - teens who have no means of getting around other than depending on parents, the elderly who are isolated and cannot ride bicycles, the disabled who are not going to haul their wheelchairs to this "trail" and those of us who simply wanted a wonderful means to get around our region without using a car. Those rail lines are completely rehabilitatable and the Council, State and Federal government know it. This is just a case of wanton greed and political corruption ruling the day yet again. How totally tragic.

Flabbergasted19 about 2 years ago

Great initiative Fantastic to see the TSC, past and present, Councillors and staff, in taking a leadership role with the first stage of the whole trail - My kids will 12 and 14 by the time it's opened - can't wait Geoffrey & family

Geoffrey over 2 years ago

Great to see the timeline for the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek Stage 1 section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail. Looking forward to seeing the concept plans and progress on this wonderful initiative to help revitalise some of our Tweed Valley villages. Kudos to the Council for recognising the tourism and health benefits this will bring to so many.

meercat05 over 2 years ago

Would like to suggest a indigenious art to be placed along the trail, similar to Waggirra Trail. Robert Appo would be a great reference as he visited the trail.

yvauki over 2 years ago