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Creating cycling and walking rail trails from abandoned NSW railway lines an uphill battle

Creating cycling and walking rail trails from abandoned NSW railway lines an uphill battle

Mick Cooper (left), John O’Brien and Kathy Ferney want a rail trail on the disused Dubbo to Molong rail corridor. (ABC Central West: Tim Fookes)…

Thursday, Mar 17

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Mick Cooper (left), John O’Brien and Kathy Ferney want a rail trail on the disused Dubbo to Molong rail corridor. (ABC Central West: Tim Fookes) While abandoned railway lines across Australia are being transformed into cycling and walking rail trails, there are concerns too much bureaucracy is stalling plans in New South Wales.

Despite the state having more than 3,000 kilometres of rail tracks that trains no longer run on, turning them into rail trails is proving to be an uphill battle, advocates say.

"There’s too much legislation in NSW, too much red tape to get these rail trails built," Dubbo Bicycle User Group president Mick Cooper said.

Mr Cooper is among a group of campaigners in central-west NSW trying to turn the rail line between Dubbo and Molong into a rail trail for cyclists and walkers.

Passenger trains stopped running on the 134-kilometres line in 1974, and freight services stopped in 1993.

"For a cycle path to be built in NSW, legislation needs to be changed to officially close the rail corridors and allow them to be used by other people," Mr Cooper said. "We’ve been proposing a rail trail for the past 20 years, and it’s such a slow process." The proposed Dubbo to Molong rail trail would pass through small communities like Cumnock in Central West NSW.(Supplied: Greg Davis) Wallets on wheels

The Dubbo to Molong rail trail would see the tracks removed and a 3-metre-wide path built in its place."It wouldn’t be a huge expense to build. There are only […]

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