Newsletter July 2023

Northern Rivers Rail Trail Usage “smashes” expectations!

Proof that the Northern Rivers loves the Rail Trail!
 Time to finish the entire 132km for all of our communities!


Stage 1 of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail opened on 1st March 2023 and over the first four (4) months data released by Tweed Shire Council shows more than 70,500 people have used this section. That is 17,638 people per month or an average of 578 people per day. The original business case for the Tweed section had set goals of 27,000 people per year, equivalent to 9,000 people in the first four (4) months. This has been absolutely smashed by nearly eight fold, or more than double the annual goal in just the 4 months.
What this clearly demonstrates is the popularity of this free, safe, accessible and family-friendly recreational activity for local residents and visitors to the Northern Rivers.
The economic benefits can be seen with 87% of trail users stating from surveys that they have used an associated Rail Trail experience and spent money with a local business.
President of the NRRT Inc Mr Pat Grier says “This is the clearest message that can be sent to the Byron and Lismore councils and residents about the benefits of the Rail Trail to their communities. It is an undisputed success and they need to get behind building the entire 132km so that their communities can enjoy and reap the social, heath and economic rewards.”
“There have been very few major infrastructure projects across the Northern Rivers that had the potential to be key drivers of economic benefits like this Rail Trail. This is why we have been behind this project for the past 10 years. We knew it would be an incredible use of a disused government asset, and to see the early results of the Tweed section has blown away everyone’s expectations. The Northern Rivers are still recovering from the devastating 2022 floods, and we need this project to drive the economic recovery and get the bonus of providing residents along the Rail Trail the ability to remain healthy active and connected.”
“We are asking State and Federal governments to continue to support this project with funding to complete the entire trail. On the back of these early results, it is abundantly clear that it is something that the community have embraced and are proud of, which will be mirrored in every other community and village along the entire 132km.”
Contact Cameron Arnold – Vice President NRRT Inc for comments : 0407 175 865


Concrete and timber bridge features

Design has commenced on the Rail Trail linking Lismore to Bentley with the draft Concept design now available for comment.

The project will transform 16.5km of the disused rail corridor into a destination for residents and visitors to enjoy. This section joins the Casino to Bentley section currently under construction by Richmond Valley Council, opening up a 29.5km route from Lismore to Casino.

The project team has been meeting with adjoining landowners during May and June to ensure existing property amenity and operations are adequately safeguarded. The landowners have been overwhelmingly positive about the opportunities the Rail Trail will bring to our region. Interest in this project has peaked following the successful opening of the Tweed to Crabbes Creek section.

We now have a draft concept design and are starting to engage with the wider Lismore community. There will be further opportunities to provide feedback before construction starts in late 2023.

The $9.9 million project is funded by the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund to boost recreation opportunities, tourism, and local economies.


The Casino to Bentley Section of the Rail Trail is well underway!

Richmond Valley Council is making great progress!

The alignment designs are now completed and the first stages of construction have commenced.

The Old Casino Railway Station entry is already taking shape and a pavement trial section has been successfully constructed.

The rail corridor has been cleared and the access and maintenance tracks are nearing completion.

The construction program will kick into high gear this month, bringing us closer to realising our rail trail dreams!

Tendering for the bridges work will go to market this month and we can expect construction on these impressive structures to begin in September.

Meanwhile, RVC is putting the finishing touches to the conservation management plan for the Old Casino Railway Station. This historic site hosts the Casino Mini Rail and serves as the southern head of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail from Casino to Murwillumbah.

Exciting times lie ahead for the future of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail and the whole community!!


Please click on this link to find out what is happening in the Byron Shire.

For Our Community

We cannot begin to describe how fantastic it is to see and experience a section of the Trail come to life, after more than 10 years of campaigning for this community asset. And what a community it is, that has well and truly turned out, in all manner of ages and abilities to enjoy it!

Help us campaign to complete all 130km of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail just by:

Finding our information stall at the Byron Bay Markets, we’re always up for a chat.

Following us on Facebook or Instagram and check out all the incredible photos, videos, comments and up to date news on the trail.

Visiting the Tweed section. Walk, meander, run, cycle, drop in at a local business. Bring friends and have a great few hours out experiencing everything the trail has to offer!

How to Donate

Donations to this community project are gratefully welcomed and will be used to forward the project on.

Direct Donations to:
SCCU – NRRT inc.

BSB:  722744    Acc: 100099375 or Press on Donate button.