Rail Trails for NSW has proposed 11 new trails in regional New South Wales in its 2020 state budget submission.
The submission makes a case for the development of regional rides in the state that is currently starved of rail trails that can deliver jobs, tourism, health and social benefits.
A total of 884 kilometres of new trails are proposed in the below locations:
- Molonglo (39 kilometres)
- Holbrook to Corowa (102 kilometres)
- Goulburn to Crookwell (58 kilometres)
- Monaro (213 kilometres)
- New England (214 kilometres)
- Richmond Vale (33 kilometres)
- Cootamundra to Tumblong (69 kilometres)
- Wagga (19 kilometres)
- Batlow to Tumut (30 kilometres)
- Bentley to Lismore (Part of Northern Rivers Rail Trail) (37 kilometres)
- Blue Mountains (70 kilometres)
All the trails are proposed on rail lines that have no prospects for re-activated train services and would provide safe, scenic and vehicle-free riding on land that is being left for waste.
The submission estimates that building the trails would create 111 jobs, a number which would grow with visitor numbers. The cost to build the trails is estimated at around $265 million, however visitor spending could reach $74 million per year.
Rail trails are yet to be realised in New South Wales as they are in Victoria, with proposals often getting local opposition from people who might not realise the benefits.
A succesful project has been the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, with a 21km section of the trail opening earlier this year. It is the first rail trail on a government corridor in NSW.
Bicycle Network are strong supporters of rail trails and has been campaigning alongside local groups for the development of trails in New South Wales.Rail trail submission
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.