New South Wales state government funding has allowed preliminary work and a tender process for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail to begin.
Vegetation clearing along the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek rail corridor started earlier this month to give construction companies access to the trail site to prepare design and costings for proposed rail trail.
In late 2020, NSW Treasury signed a deed providing $7.8 million towards the Tweed section of the rail trail. The federal government in 2018 committed $6.5 million to Tweed Shire Council for the trail.
The pool of money is now enough for the council to tender a design and construct contract for the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek section this year.
The Northern NSW Branch Line from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek was formally closed on 15 October 2020 when legislation passed its second reading in the NSW Upper House.
"With the line now formally closed and all the funds we need to get the rail trail designed and built secured, we can deliver this exciting new tourism infrastructure project for the benefit of the community," Tweed Shire Council Rail Trail Project Manager Iain Lonsdale said.
"The rail corridor has remained in the ownership of Transport for NSW, which was important to our elected Councillors who wanted to preserve public ownership of the corridor in case it was needed in the future for a public transport option."
The Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek section is 24km long. The full 132km Northern Rivers Rail Trail is proposed to connect Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Bangalow, Lismore and Casino.
Community information sessions
Tweed Shire Council is also holding public information sessions in February 2021 to update the community on progress of the rail trail.
The sessions are being held online and are free for anyone to attend and ask questions. Session dates and times are below. Click the session time you wish to attend register your details.
Session 1: Wednesday 10 February 3:00 – 4:00pm
Session 2: Thursday 11 February 10:00 – 11:00am
Session 3: Wednesday 17 February 5.30 – 6.30pm
Session 4: Thursday 18 February 5.30 – 6.30pm
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