Community on the Rails

The romantic notion of railways, transporting goods and people, for business or leisure, all over the land, linked by a ribbon of steel and connecting far-away communities has been consistent dream of children, authors and dreamers for the better part of 200 years.

 

No 6 Bellarine 500
Cycling the Bellarine Rail Trail
The romantic notion of railways, transporting goods and people, for business or leisure, all over the land, linked by a ribbon of steel and connecting far-away communities has been consistent dream of children, authors and dreamers for the better part of 200 years.

But, with the development of the motor vehicle (car, bus and truck), the necessary road network and the need for independent travel alternatives, railways have retracted in recent decades.

Rail trails, the conversion of a railway line into a shared user path for universal access to walk, ride or cycle, have recreated the original purpose of the railway – connect communities – whilst encouraging active transport and retention of heritage and history.

No 1 High Country 500
Stopping to view a magnificent old bridge along the High Country Rail Trail
And the rail trails financially benefit too – the construction spend is easily surpassed by the community benefit in health (physical & mental) outcomes and monetary gain with accommodation, food and transport services all in high demand, substantially due to the local rail trail.

Chris Ord writes a dynamic article to analyse rail trail benefits – a solid read for rail trail proponents and antagonists alike. You can read this article here.

Similar to the views expressed in this article, Damian McCrohan, Rail Trails Australia President spoke to ABC radio about the benefits of rail trails for NSW and the rest of Australia.  If you would like to listen to this 9 minute interview, please click on this link

Share

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

More News

More News