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October 2023 Newsletter

BYRON BAY COMES ONBOARD WITH THE TRAIL!

In case you haven’t caught wind of it yet, a decision has been made at Byron Shire Council to move ahead with planning, approval processes and applications for funding to create a link from Mullumbimby to meet the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail at Crabbes Creek, as well as another link from Byron through Bangalow to Booyong to meet the proposed Lismore section.

The resolution underlines the Council’s support for making the rail corridor between Byron Bay and Mullumbimby multi-use. 

Want to dive deeper into the details? Check out Byron Shire Council’s full media release on this exciting vote to propel the Rail Trail forward!   

https://brnw.ch/21wC8RL

Thanks to all you great supporters out there, Byron Council have agreed the rail trail should come to the Byron Shire!

Over 6000 signatures were collected in a few short weeks , which was an amazing result!

The trail will be extended from here to Mullumbimby

LISMORE SECTION – Tenders out!

Construction of Lismore to Bentley Rail Trail. Tender closing date 09 November 2023, 04:00 PM Reference number T2023135

Lismore City Council is seeking a principal contractor for the Construction of the Lismore to Bentley Rail Trail Project.

Components of the project include but are not limited to:  Rail Trail Construction, Bridge Design and Construction, Landscaping & Engineering Design Services.

Requests for Information regarding this Tender can be directed to Project Engineer Iresha Piyarathna via email at iresha.piyarathna@lismore.nsw.gov.au or via Mobile 0452605512

Milestone 1:

Concept plan- complete 

Environmental assessments – complete 

Rail removal -95% complete

($650k net expected return from sale of steel)

Contracts and tender decisions to Dec council meeting

CASINO TO BENTLEY

** TAKE A LOOK AT THE AMAZING PROGRESS OF OUR SECTION OF THE NORTHERN RIVERS RAIL TRAIL**

https://fb.watch/nDwQ2xapCU/?mibextid=Nif5oz

We are so excited to bring you this latest update on the Casino to Bentley section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail. As you can see, work is continuing right across the 13.5km section – and it looks amazing.

The rail trail winds through our beautiful rural landscape and is taking shape every day into what we know will be a wonderful asset for locals and visitors alike.

While we know you’re keen to experience it, a reminder the rail trail is not yet open for general public use as it is still a construction site with a large amount of heavy machinery in operation.

Plans are underway to hold a soft opening on Sunday 17 December – stay tuned for further details.

Also mark Thursday 9 November in your diary for a Building Business Success with the Northern Rivers Rail Trail workshop to be held at the Casino Golf Club. This program will be delivered by Meredith Wray, a leading regional tourism expert, to help businesses leverage opportunities for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail. Visit Richmond Valley Council’s website to register.

Take a look at this fly-through of some of the sections that have been constructed further up the track.

TWEED SECTION

So many great reports of the many people riding and walking the Tweed Section of the trail! The most rewarding comment to date was from a woman at the markets who claimed “it is absolutely the best thing I have ever done!” It is so great to be part of an organisation that has contributed to so much pleasure for people in our region.

AND …….To add to the great list of things to do in the Tweed – the UKI MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK IS ALSO OPEN!


Ghosts on the Track – A Poem by Andrew McAuley

In the silence can you hear the track?
The groan of the sleepers bearing the train
The slight sag of the bridge, wheels grinding
An engine powered, rumbling along
Carriages sweeping the air aside
As they quicken, even off, and fade
The smoke gripped in a fist like hold
A mare’s tail slowly dissipating.

Can you feel the lives? Sense their stories?
There on the breeze the sound of voices
In the clackety clack, lives lived
Hurtling into the distance over the years
Humanity’s emotions travelled this track
Joy, heartache, hope, and fear –

Long after the track had fallen quiet.
Faces briefly glimpsed, captured in rusting rails
Feel their gaze as you pass by.

We travel behind them sharing more than we think
These worn bridges held them up
Carried them to love and war, some lost to both
Those that returned, tilled that land that loaded the train
That filled the mills, that fed the cities and beyond

With sugar, milk, cane, bananas, and livestock
Times changed; roads came to trick the trains into ghosts
These ghosts are riding still if we listen carefully
Carried on the wind you can hear them speak
In the silence of the cutting, on the climb up the hill

Or the easy descent to the tiny creeks
While ducks scatter as bikes speed by
Where trains once ruled.

Let your spirit grow in thoughts along the way
Free ranging, butterflies on the wing
Travel slow and feel the ghosts of time
Birds soaring from idling on the track

The swishing back of trees and bushes
As the train pushed through the air
Cast into night as the long tunnel engulfed it
Then back again to the day and sunlit warmth.

Today the rusted rails and sleepers’ rest
Bolts lie scattered and redundant
Trackside signs, clearance, caution, curve
Not to be followed anymore

Remnants of the past
Touch these tracks, scratch history
Discover their stories
Be renewed.

Andrew McAuley
Northern Rivers Rail Trail, 7 May 2023.

Crabbes Creek, NRRT.


OUR MARKET STALL IS LOOKING GREAT!
The next market is in Byron on 5th November.

Thanks team! Mel Darnley, Sandy Allan, Marie Lawton and Sandy Loyall.

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. The next market will be on 6th August.

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!

Attend Council Meetings when appropriate
(Further information to come, follow here or on Facebook for updates.)

Donate Donations to this community project are gratefully welcomed and will be used to forward the project on. Please click on the Donate button in the header of this web page.