More good news from NSW with funding for construction of NSW’s third major rail trail, the first stage of the New England Rail Trail.
Federal MP Hon. David Littleproud and NSW MP Hon. John Barilaro recently announced that up to $8,721,095 from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) to revitalise the Great Northern Rail Line between Armidale and the Queensland border which has not had trains on it for 31 years.
To revitalise this asset and generate economic growth through increased tourism, Glen Innes Severn Council will build Stage 1 (35.5km) of the New England Rail Trail between Glen Innes and Ben Lomond.
Ben Lomond has the longest handcut railway cutting in Australia and was, when operational, Australia’s highest passenger railway station at 4,473 feet (1,363.4 metres).
This will be the third major rail trail constructed in NSW following the outstanding success of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail opened to walkers and cyclists in April 2020 and officially opened in April 2021.
The rail trail will provide a safe recreational location for cyclists and walkers, potentially attracting around 4,000 overnight visitors and 4,000 day visitors, who will spend in excess of $1.6M annually at local businesses.
RTA congratulates all involved in getting to this stage and will be encouraging the NSW government to pass legislation quickly to enable construction of the rail trail to begin as soon as possible.