North East railway debate steams along

Poll results

REFERRING to Dorset Council manager Tim Watson’s article regards “North East rail trail debate”(The Examiner, May 23) it is not just accepting change but just another opponent with a different opinion and vision than his own for this heritage rail line.

Mountain bike trails are popular but rails trails are sparsely used with most management groups in Victoria want to hand back and maintenance costs to local councils. 

It’s a pity the tourist and heritage rail sector is competing with cycling interests and cannot work together as has been attempted, but the bicycle network strongly push their own agendas, mostly requiring and continue to need taxpayer funding.

The bike trail project is not in public favour as expressed in a recent radio station poll result questioning rail corridor preference being - 72 per cent rail, 13 per cent bikes and 15 per cent both, appears the silent majority has spoken.

There are concerns and strong objections especially by adjacent landowners, but local council and current government appear not to be hearing these voices.

There is a state election looming and maybe similar to the fate of recent federal ministers who failed to listen.

Michael de Bomford, Lulworth.

Bike trail lifestyle

TO THOSE involved with this important decision, the proposed North East rail trail will be an unequivocal good for our region. 

There are, of course, those who reject the idea (at least, they appear in the media – we only ever encounter supporters), but despite a sincere effort to understand their arguments, we cannot see any merit in them. 

They are based less on sound evaluations of the trail’s economic and pragmatic implications, and more on reactionary nostalgia and tendentious paranoia.

My wife and I, with our one-year-old, have just purchased five acres at Lalla, less than 200 metres from the trail. 

Our five-year plan is to tap into the cycle tourism the trail will bring and build bed and breakfast accommodation, so my wife can work from home. (The trail would also mean I could safely ride my bike to work in Mowbray.)

Our personal interests aside, it strikes us as astonishing that any clear-headed observer could object to such an overwhelmingly positive initiative.  Put simply, the rail trail will turn an ugly, disused and economically nonviable railway line into an artery delivering a much-needed economic boost to a region that desperately needs it. 

Rail in Tasmania has shown it cannot stand on its own two economic feet, even when it doesn’t depend on rebuilding a derelict line. 

Rail is our past, and you are the men and women responsible for shaping our future. 

Dr Nicholas Clements, Lalla.

Memories

ON READING Deborah Collings letter (The Examiner, June 7) I had a memory of when I was a youngster and had travelled to Scottsdale by train from Launceston. When I was 12 years old I also went to Hobart by train. 

If I remember correctly it was an electric diesel motor, and as a teenager we used to go to the Christmas carnivals by steam trains to Devonport.

When I went to Hobart I went on to Blackmans Bay.  I had a sister living there. Her name was Nonie Guy and she also worked at The Examiner, as did my two  brothers Norman and Trevor. 

Mr Cecil Neil Guy, Youngtown.