Please don't write anything in this box. It's here to trick the robots.
Follow Cycle Traveller on PinterestFollow Cycle Traveller on InstagramFollow Cycle Traveller on LinkedInFollow Cycle Traveller on GoogleFollow Cycle Traveller on FacebookFollow Cycle Traveller on Twitter.

NSW rail trail hopefuls line up for $50 million in funding

Alia Parker's picture
A rail bridge on the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail. Cycle Traveller

Rail Trail groups around NSW are eagerly awaiting the state government's decision on who will be shortlisted for a share in $50 million in funding, but with many hands reaching for the pot, some will come away empty handed.

Following the first round of applications, the NSW government will announce later this month which projects will be shortlisted to provide a more detailed pitch for a share of the $50 million set aside in the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Plan for rail trail development. It will be the first time the NSW government has actively encouraged rail trails in the state.

The government has not named the projects that have expressed interest in the funds, but with many regional communities sitting astride disused rail lines and keen to attract visitors to their economies, interest has been high.

Among the contenders with a good chance are believed to be The Northern Rivers Rail Trail (Murwillumbah to Casino via Byron Bay), the Riverina Highlands Trail (Tumbarumba), New England Rail Trail (Black Mountain to Ben Lamond), and Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail.

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail through Byron Bay is a favourite for funding, with growing political support for a trail in the region being the catalyst for the state government allocating funding toward rail trail development in the first place. The trail to Tumbarumba near the Snowy Mountains also has strong support.

While it will be tempting for the government to show support to all the great rail trail projects, there also lies a danger in spreading the funding too thin. For instance, the complete Northern Rivers Rail Trail, the largest of the projects, is estimated to cost $75.5 million alone.

However, to get started, the region has proposed a $1.2 million pilot trail from Murwillumbah station to the Tweed Regional Art Gallery.

Increasing its chances at being allocated funding is the Northern Rivers Rail Trail's detailed planning. The trail's secretary, Geoff Meers, told Byron Shire News that the project could be shovel ready within six months of the government's evaluations.

NRRT secretary Geoff Meers predicted after the State Government's evaluations of submissions, construction of the trail could begin in as little as six months.

Image: A disused rail bridge on the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail.Source: NRRT. 

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Please don't write anything in this box. It's here to trick the robots.