When we first heard about the Rail Trail from Myrtleford to Bright in northern Victoria, we planned a week long cycle tour. The idea of cycling on a dedicated cycle trail with great scenery and gentle gradients was such a drawcard that we ended up as a group of eight friends and family and headed south. The entire ride around the Murray and Ovens valleys was great, but the highlight was the Rail Trail. We enjoyed it so much that a few years later we went back with more friends to ride the now extended Rail Trail. Now that the branchline to Beechworth is complete, we will be soon heading south once again to enjoy riding the peace and beauty that is riding a dedicated Rail Trail.
When the Casino - Murwillumbah Rail Trail is complete we will be regular riders. I will be able to ride my bike from my home at Bentley to work in Lismore (it is far too dangerous to ride on the road). I recently became a Grandad, and I look forward to a few years time when I can put Tylah on a 'tag-a-long' and head off for a cycling holiday on our own local Rail Trail.
Tony Keogh, Bentley
In the last six months, my partner Joanna and I have discovered the pleasures of riding on Rail Trails. In January we went to Adelaide and as part of our holiday we rode the "Coast to the Vines" rail trail to McLaren Vale. In March-April we went to Western Australia to ride the Munda Biddi trail as well as the Rail Trail at Margaret River. We have never felt so safe and comfortable on our bikes. The Casino to Murwillumbah Rail Trail would provide an incredible asset to the people of the North Coast - a place where families could ride together without the hassle and danger of riding on the roads.
Darryl Pursey, Goonellabah
My wife and I have cycled a little in France, Holland, down the Moselle River from Trier to Koblenz and from Derby to York in England. A good long section leading into York was on a disused railway line and it occurred to us at the time that the Lismore/Byron line would be ideal for the same purpose.
John and Ros Perry, Lismore
As a pair of active seniors, we had the pleasure recently of participating in a cycling trip on the South Island New Zealand - the Otago Rail Trail – 200 plus kilometres of cycling and walking track on the Otago central plateau. The track has been designed around the old railway line and as such winds through gently undulating pretty countryside – over creeks and streams – past sheep dotted green pastures, through tunnels and small country towns. Totally delightful – a wonderful way to see the countryside and enjoy its beauty – without the threat of large trucks or speeding 4WDs on narrow country roads.The other factor that we observed was that some towns that had been diminishing and dying, now had become revitalised with small restaurants and tourist shops. Once failing farms and schools now had bed and breakfasts in the old buildings, small hotels in the towns were enjoying having a constant flow of patrons for lunches and cooling ales throughout the day, the evenings were busy with tourists and locals alike – sharing stories and travelling anecdotes. The track is open for walkers and cyclists and for the time that we were there we met fellow cyclists in small groups, groups of walkers or ramblers, sharing the simplicity of open air. At the time we commented that it would be wonderful if the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line could be turned into something similar – to boost the local economy, to provide jobs for many people, to showcase our rural areas to tourists, to provide healthy transport for locals to access different parts of the region.
Stephanie and Julian Lymburner, Wardell
I would like to express my whole hearted support for the establishment of a Railtrail along the old Murwillumbah/Casino line. It would link the villages from the coast to the hinterland with a walking and riding track, while providing a much needed wildlife corridor for our local flora and fauna.
I feel the benefits of such an asset to the health, economy and environment of our region are incalculable.By re-establishing the fabulous, bio-diverse, original vegetation along the route, we would provide our beleaguered wildlife with a safe passage through their land, and at the same time bring ourselves the satisfaction that comes with repairing and restoring the planet.
As a low impact, world class eco-tourism destination, the Railtrail would generate employment in the region and create business opportunities, such as B&Bs, along the route.It would also provide a local facility for the enjoyment of healthy outdoor recreational activities in a time when obesity and depression are a growing problem in society.
At the turn of the the twenty first century, as oil prices rise and the speed and volume of traffic on the roads increases, the establishment of alternative routes for those using non motorised forms of transport is becoming essential.The creation of a walking/riding track (in conjunction with a wildlife corridor) along the old rail line is an opportunity we can’t afford to miss; a win/win situation that will add a whole new dimension to our land and to our lives.