Why are New South Welshmen more anti-rail trail than other states?

 
  62440 Chief Commissioner

The Riesling Trail in SA uses Trakers and measures about 50 000 users a year. The Trail, when combined with the Rattler Trail is around 60km long and brings visitors from interstate and overseas as well as day trippers from Adelaide and locals. You can hire bikes from a couple of places such as Cogwebs who offer drop off and pick up (and will even take you back to your lodgings if you overdo the Riesling). It brings a lot of visitors to the Clare Valley and enjoys huge local support.

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The Riesling Trail in SA uses Trakers and measures about 50 000 users a year. The Trail, when combined with the Rattler Trail is around 60km long and brings visitors from interstate and overseas as well as day trippers from Adelaide and locals. You can hire bikes from a couple of places such as Cogwebs who offer drop off and pick up (and will even take you back to your lodgings if you overdo the Riesling). It brings a lot of visitors to the Clare Valley and enjoys huge local support.
62440

50,000 sounds impressive, but when you divide it by 365 it is only 137 people a day.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The Riesling Trail in SA uses Trakers and measures about 50 000 users a year. The Trail, when combined with the Rattler Trail is around 60km long and brings visitors from interstate and overseas as well as day trippers from Adelaide and locals. You can hire bikes from a couple of places such as Cogwebs who offer drop off and pick up (and will even take you back to your lodgings if you overdo the Riesling). It brings a lot of visitors to the Clare Valley and enjoys huge local support.

50,000 sounds impressive, but when you divide it by 365 it is only 137 people a day.
simstrain
And how many a day if it was made a heritage line?

However it is 137 more than may have came had it not be made a RT. if Average spend is $100pp, then thats $13,700/day

Remember this is in SA, fraction of the population as east coast and a fraction of the tourists.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
The Riesling Trail in SA uses Trakers and measures about 50 000 users a year. The Trail, when combined with the Rattler Trail is around 60km long and brings visitors from interstate and overseas as well as day trippers from Adelaide and locals. You can hire bikes from a couple of places such as Cogwebs who offer drop off and pick up (and will even take you back to your lodgings if you overdo the Riesling). It brings a lot of visitors to the Clare Valley and enjoys huge local support.

50,000 sounds impressive, but when you divide it by 365 it is only 137 people a day.
And how many a day if it was made a heritage line?

However it is 137 more than may have came had it not be made a RT. if Average spend is $100pp, then thats $13,700/day

Remember this is in SA, fraction of the population as east coast and a fraction of the tourists.
RTT_Rules
Wonthaggi can record an average of 350-160 people a day (Summer/Winter) on the Bass Coast Rail trail.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The Riesling Trail in SA uses Trakers and measures about 50 000 users a year. The Trail, when combined with the Rattler Trail is around 60km long and brings visitors from interstate and overseas as well as day trippers from Adelaide and locals. You can hire bikes from a couple of places such as Cogwebs who offer drop off and pick up (and will even take you back to your lodgings if you overdo the Riesling). It brings a lot of visitors to the Clare Valley and enjoys huge local support.

50,000 sounds impressive, but when you divide it by 365 it is only 137 people a day.
And how many a day if it was made a heritage line?

However it is 137 more than may have came had it not be made a RT. if Average spend is $100pp, then thats $13,700/day

Remember this is in SA, fraction of the population as east coast and a fraction of the tourists.
RTT_Rules

How many of those 137 are actual tourists and how many are just locals? I bet you that the trackers don't tell you that figure. Sydney and quite a fair bit of NSW also doesn't need rail trails for tourism, although there are quite a few bike trails around the joint in any case.

If councils want to build bike tracks then go for it. Don't ask our state or federal government however for huge sums of money to build something that would be better off going towards building a new alignment instead.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

How many of those 137 are actual tourists and how many are just locals? I bet you that the trackers don't tell you that figure. Sydney and quite a fair bit of NSW also doesn't need rail trails for tourism, although there are quite a few bike trails around the joint in any case.

If councils want to build bike tracks then go for it. Don't ask our state or federal government however for huge sums of money to build something that would be better off going towards building a new alignment instead.
simstrain
Yes but there are two sides to the coin. If the locals stayed local to use it, they didn't travel somewhere else to spend the money. If there are businesses proving services to the RT, then there is obviously a revenue stream from the uses of the RT.

In regard to local councils asking for funding to build RT, I'm sure you are perfectly aware that councils apply for state and fed funding for numerous things including conventional bike tracks. They are often supporters of Heritage rail funding applications for similar reasons. So it has nothing to do with diverting funding from improving railway alignments and I'm assuming you are not referring to returning these mostly ancient branch lines into operation again.

Re-alignment funding is tackled separately and Qld is really the only state that has funded major realignment of parts of its railways.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner


How many of those 137 are actual tourists and how many are just locals? I bet you that the trackers don't tell you that figure. Sydney and quite a fair bit of NSW also doesn't need rail trails for tourism, although there are quite a few bike trails around the joint in any case.

If councils want to build bike tracks then go for it. Don't ask our state or federal government however for huge sums of money to build something that would be better off going towards building a new alignment instead.Yes but there are two sides to the coin. If the locals stayed local to use it, they didn't travel somewhere else to spend the money. If there are businesses proving services to the RT, then there is obviously a revenue stream from the uses of the RT.

In regard to local councils asking for funding to build RT, I'm sure you are perfectly aware that councils apply for state and fed funding for numerous things including conventional bike tracks. They are often supporters of Heritage rail funding applications for similar reasons. So it has nothing to do with diverting funding from improving railway alignments and I'm assuming you are not referring to returning these mostly ancient branch lines into operation again.

Re-alignment funding is tackled separately and Qld is really the only state that has funded major realignment of parts of its railways.
RTT_Rules

Maybe, but I find it hard to believe that those bike hire facilities aren't losing money and relying on council subsidies instead.

I will however come back to my point about NSW not needing Rail trails to attract tourism. In any case foot/bike paths have formed naturally where there is demand. Relying on a bike trail for tourism is a guarantee to failure.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

Maybe, but I find it hard to believe that those bike hire facilities aren't losing money and relying on council subsidies instead.

I will however come back to my point about NSW not needing Rail trails to attract tourism. In any case foot/bike paths have formed naturally where there is demand. Relying on a bike trail for tourism is a guarantee to failure.
simstrain
Probably few if they are independent businesses and the evidence is there in other countries to prove RT's in the right location (doesn't mean all) can add value to a local economy as I previously posted the data for Otago in NZ.

So guaranteed failure no if the right location is chosen, like heritage operations, there are places this works and places it doesn't. Converting the Hay branch would be a likely failure, the abandoned section of the Main Nth and/or the Murwullibah line, probably not.

While you may feel NSW doesn't need more tourists, I'm sure the regional areas most of these RT proposals are in may have a different opinion. Sydney is booming now, but its built on a real estate boom which cannot last as we are seeing.

Back to the OT, the because NSW still has the abandoned branch lines lying on the ground, there will be always be opposition to alt uses for these unwanted corridors. In other states (and countries) where their govts doesn't believe in industrial littering and clean up abandoned lines after it is usually clear their future is as a rail line is non-existent (as required by law for any equivalent private industrial operation). People are naturally more open to doing something with the ROW over handing it over to the adjacent landholders. As we have seen around the country, bike tracks, cycle ways, horse friendly corridors off the roads are increasingly popular, hence why they are built and hence why a former rail ROW is desirable.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner


Maybe, but I find it hard to believe that those bike hire facilities aren't losing money and relying on council subsidies instead.

I will however come back to my point about NSW not needing Rail trails to attract tourism. In any case foot/bike paths have formed naturally where there is demand. Relying on a bike trail for tourism is a guarantee to failure.Probably few if they are independent businesses and the evidence is there in other countries to prove RT's in the right location (doesn't mean all) can add value to a local economy as I previously posted the data for Otago in NZ.

So guaranteed failure no if the right location is chosen, like heritage operations, there are places this works and places it doesn't. Converting the Hay branch would be a likely failure, the abandoned section of the Main Nth and/or the Murwullibah line, probably not.

While you may feel NSW doesn't need more tourists, I'm sure the regional areas most of these RT proposals are in may have a different opinion. Sydney is booming now, but its built on a real estate boom which cannot last as we are seeing.

Back to the OT, the because NSW still has the abandoned branch lines lying on the ground, there will be always be opposition to alt uses for these unwanted corridors. In other states (and countries) where their govts doesn't believe in industrial littering and clean up abandoned lines after it is usually clear their future is as a rail line is non-existent (as required by law for any equivalent private industrial operation). People are naturally more open to doing something with the ROW over handing it over to the adjacent landholders. As we have seen around the country, bike tracks, cycle ways, horse friendly corridors off the roads are increasingly popular, hence why they are built and hence why a former rail ROW is desirable.
RTT_Rules

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying don't build it. I'm saying don't use tourism to sell the idea. The old fassifern to toronto line is now a pathway, but it was converted for community reasons and not for tourism. I'm also saying don't think for one minute that it will be a money maker. It will be a community enabler and not a tourist attraction.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Using Otago as an example is not a true representation of what would happen elsewhere either. Otago's booming tourism isn't from a bike trail, it is from the success of 6 movies shot in the country by Peter Jackson. The bike trail benefits from this.
  Mad Panda Station Master

Location: NSW Australia
Using Otago as an example is not a true representation of what would happen elsewhere either. Otago's booming tourism isn't from a bike trail, it is from the success of 6 movies shot in the country by Peter Jackson. The bike trail benefits from this.
simstrain
Your comments are interesting and diverse Simsy! I want to agree/disagree with you all at once Smile

In this case though, I agree that the notion of selling a rail trail concept based on tourism, for me, is a bit wayward.  As you say, the Toronto branch, was built for community benefit, not some notional tourism idea.  Equally, and just as close, the Glendale Tramway and the Fernleigh Track and the Rasberry Gully Line, also provide huge community and social benefits.

They connect people.

They are a resource for recreational walkers, joggers, cyclists, family groups, junior cyclists...the list goes on.  The Fernleigh Track, if anything, is a victim of its own success. The regular commentary now, is "why was it not built wider?!?" The lycra loonies, if anything, avoid it. (I am the parent one such teenage loon, who I will never forgive for swapping rugby for cycly biking Wink)   It is not adequate for anything other than a relaxed roll.

In rural areas, the equation is different, but, for mine, the basis of a rail trail, should still be founded on the inter generational community benefit that rail trails and indeed, any freely accessible recreational activity infrastructure provides. Think skate parks, beaches, river walks, town centre parks, pocket parks....once again the list goes on.  

It is easy to understand the passions that are aroused, when the mere idea of a rail trail is met by folk who have poured energy and time time, over decades to utilise an old branch line for heritage interests.  I can only imagine, that the idea of an RT for those folk, is tantamount to cutting off a limb!  

It is only just, that they should be provided all the support to see their ambition realised.  I doubt there is anyone that could deny the attraction that a heritage rail/steam engine offers.

As a kid, my dad took me on the South Steyne ferry, for one of its last harbour crossings. As you could back then, we were escorted through the engine room by (I presume) the engineman bloke. An unforgettable experience and one that started my interest in all things steam.

The day of reckoning has come though.  People and communities have moved on. Other groups want a crack at those corridors that have lay idle for many decades.

Tourism, by itself, is not the thing.  Providing a richer tapestry to the fabric of the community, that then becomes a more attractive destination for people to live, work and play is what it's about.  The whole feasibilty/business case/ financial discussion, is a furphy.  Certainly we need to spend public dollars carefully.  As a community, we need museums, and active heritage, that keep us grounded and provide identity, as well as parks and recreational outlets that help us work and play. So essential for a tight knit community.

There will always be 'haters', but their message, as always will be ignored, as community solutions lie in compromise and acceptance of inevitable change.

To the OT, I am convinced that NSW has a disproportionate share of haters. The reasons I think are founded in the legislation and the management by the state, that has allowed a notion of virtual 'ownership' to take root. But time heals all Smile
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying don't build it. I'm saying don't use tourism to sell the idea. The old fassifern to toronto line is now a pathway, but it was converted for community reasons and not for tourism. I'm also saying don't think for one minute that it will be a money maker. It will be a community enabler and not a tourist attraction.
simstrain
The 4km long Toronto Branch runs through suburbia and hence its best reuse is a local community bikeway/natural trail. It would not meet the criteria of RT which are typically much longer routes, typically around 100km or more, running through the countryside with towns along the way.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Using Otago as an example is not a true representation of what would happen elsewhere either. Otago's booming tourism isn't from a bike trail, it is from the success of 6 movies shot in the country by Peter Jackson. The bike trail benefits from this.
simstrain
No, the bike trail adds to the local attractions, just like on the Gold Coast the various themes parks help each other by adding to the attraction for people wanting to travel there for more than one thing.

The influence from the movies will deplete with time and I'm sure not everyone using it is a LOR's fan or soley there because of LOR movies.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
If I was paid $1m for every train that will use the bulk of these abandoned lines across NSW over the next 50 years I will die a poor man and I think most people acknowledge this.

Yes I would like to see a few more heritage operations, but the industry is in crisis and more operators will not help them and the last thing they need is more track, nor are most of these locations likely to even be viable by any sense of the word. OHTR is 10 years in the making for 11km of track and still going and look at the support they get! There are also alternatives to trains, such as gangers or bike trikes as used in other countries, why this concept hasn't taken off here I don't know. The one way effect of a single line may make it more difficult? After 25/40 years time is up for most of these corridors.

To me an ideal RT for tourism and local use is one that is long, at least 100km. Lines so short they are day tripper activities are nothing more than a community bike track. You need towns every 15 to 25km ideally who will benefit from passing trade and provide another reason to use the RT. Accommodation options as well as long line will attract those people on longer holidays than a weekend.

Reasonable facilities at each end for transport and bike hire and maybe other operators such as horse. Its highly unlikely these businesses will be viable on their own from the start and in some cases ever, but additional services by an existing business.

The line must be semi scenic, ie Hay plane is out. Mountains and Hills adds to changing scenery. Not too hot for most of the year.

Not too remote, half days drive. Rail based PT access to termini is a bonus but not required, but far enough away from the city people don't feel like they are in the city. Short RT's are probably more attractive closer to the larger cities. ie day trip return or O/N return.

As mentioned by previous poster, the Nth Main nth of Armidale to Warwick is probably a potential winner.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

If I was paid $1m for every train that will use the bulk of these abandoned lines across NSW over the next 50 years I will die a poor man and I think most people acknowledge this.

Yes I would like to see a few more heritage operations, but the industry is in crisis and more operators will not help them and the last thing they need is more track, nor are most of these locations likely to even be viable by any sense of the word. OHTR is 10 years in the making for 11km of track and still going and look at the support they get! There are also alternatives to trains, such as gangers or bike trikes as used in other countries, why this concept hasn't taken off here I don't know. The one way effect of a single line may make it more difficult? After 25/40 years time is up for most of these corridors.

To me an ideal RT for tourism and local use is one that is long, at least 100km. Lines so short they are day tripper activities are nothing more than a community bike track. You need towns every 15 to 25km ideally who will benefit from passing trade and provide another reason to use the RT. Accommodation options as well as long line will attract those people on longer holidays than a weekend.

Reasonable facilities at each end for transport and bike hire and maybe other operators such as horse. Its highly unlikely these businesses will be viable on their own from the start and in some cases ever, but additional services by an existing business.

The line must be semi scenic, ie Hay plane is out. Mountains and Hills adds to changing scenery. Not too hot for most of the year.

Not too remote, half days drive. Rail based PT access to termini is a bonus but not required, but far enough away from the city people don't feel like they are in the city. Short RT's are probably more attractive closer to the larger cities. ie day trip return or O/N return.

As mentioned by previous poster, the Nth Main nth of Armidale to Warwick is probably a potential winner.
RTT_Rules
I'm not talking about using the lines again for trains or heritage. I'm just suggesting to continue to let them rot away and dissipate into the landscape.

Here are my reasons why Rail trails don't work in NSW.

1. NSW's old lines have steep grades that are beyond the capabilities of joe average.
2. Nobody wants to go there. The train lines closed because there is nothing along them to warrant a train line.
3. NSW's main tourism is along the coast with a few exceptions. (Mount Panorama, Tamworth and Broken Hill for example).
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I'm not talking about using the lines again for trains or heritage. I'm just suggesting to continue to let them rot away and dissipate into the landscape.

Here are my reasons why Rail trails don't work in NSW.

1. NSW's old lines have steep grades that are beyond the capabilities of joe average.
2. Nobody wants to go there. The train lines closed because there is nothing along them to warrant a train line.
3. NSW's main tourism is along the coast with a few exceptions. (Mount Panorama, Tamworth and Broken Hill for example).
simstrain

Steep grades, its still a railway and a fraction of what a road is and even so the 1:40's etc are not everywhere and what must go up often comes down and other RT's manage this and being an ex railway is why they are promoted as easy.
So flimsy excuse Denied.

No one wanted to go by train there because people started using cars to get there, yes the proper research needs to be done and hence my previous comments and the most plausible targets have already been discussed.
So flimsy excuse Denied.

Thats the beach coastal tourism yes and yes the main, but not the only and a very generalist comment at best.
So flimsy excuse Denied.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Here are my reasons why Rail trails don't work in NSW.

1. NSW's old lines have steep grades that are beyond the capabilities of joe average.
simstrain
There's no hope if Joe Average can't walk or ride a bike up a 1 in 30!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Here are my reasons why Rail trails don't work in NSW.

1. NSW's old lines have steep grades that are beyond the capabilities of joe average.
There's no hope if Joe Average can't walk or ride a bike up a 1 in 30!
apw5910
Very very very few lines are 1:30, Batlow and Oberon come to mind and not the whole branch.

Main Nth below Armidale I'm guessing is not.

Half of Sydney's nth shore streets are more than 1:30 and if the average Joe cannot walk up a 1:30 then RT's is the least of our issues.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW


Here are my reasons why Rail trails don't work in NSW.

1. NSW's old lines have steep grades that are beyond the capabilities of joe average.
2. Nobody wants to go there. The train lines closed because there is nothing along them to warrant a train line.
3. NSW's main tourism is along the coast with a few exceptions. (Mount Panorama, Tamworth and Broken Hill for example).
simstrain
If you think some closed Rail Lines are too steep for Walkers and Cyclists, I earnestly suggest you stay well away from "Heart Break Hill'' near Double Bay and the GAP at Watsons bay.
This of course rules out Katoomba Street, Lovel and Megalong streets between Katoomba and Leura and the Cliff Walks to the Three Sisters, the Giant Stairway from there to the Federal Pass under Echo Point.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner



Here are my reasons why Rail trails don't work in NSW.

1. NSW's old lines have steep grades that are beyond the capabilities of joe average.
2. Nobody wants to go there. The train lines closed because there is nothing along them to warrant a train line.
3. NSW's main tourism is along the coast with a few exceptions. (Mount Panorama, Tamworth and Broken Hill for example).
If you think some closed Rail Lines are too steep for Walkers and Cyclists, I earnestly suggest you stay well away from "Heart Break Hill'' near Double Bay and the GAP at Watsons bay.
This of course rules out Katoomba Street, Lovel and Megalong streets between Katoomba and Leura and the Cliff Walks to the Three Sisters, the Giant Stairway from there to the Federal Pass under Echo Point.
gordon_s1942

Well I have raced the city to surf when I was a kid and I have walked along all the places you mentioned and they are most certainly too steep for average unfit joe public to ride. Heck heartbreak hill is hard for fit people.

I have seen some of the bike trails in Melbourne and they are a doosy to ride. Flat as a pancake with no significant elevation changes and easy for average joe public/tourist to ride.
  Mad Panda Station Master

Location: NSW Australia


Here are my reasons why Rail trails don't work in NSW.........
_
If you think some closed Rail Lines are too steep for Walkers and Cyclists, I earnestly suggest you stay well away from "Heart Break Hill'' near Double Bay and the GAP at Watsons bay.
This of course rules out Katoomba Street, Lovel and Megalong streets between Katoomba and Leura and the Cliff Walks to the Three Sisters, the Giant Stairway from there to the Federal Pass under Echo Point.

Well I have raced the city to surf when I was a kid and I have walked along all the places you mentioned and they are most certainly too steep for average unfit joe public to ride. Heck heartbreak hill is hard for fit people.............
simstrain
"We are now rounding the curve, on the rise up to the next stop. Known as "Community Health".  This station has been neglected for decades and has only avoided complete demolition thanks to the concerted efforts of some small community groups.  

Two nearby communities have benefited from overseas investment and are thriving. The stations at these locations are far more modern, and convenient and have greater appeal to the booming populations. The stations servicing these communities are 'Diabetes' and 'Heart Disease'. Planning is well under way for a new branch line, to have a station called 'Obese'."
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Reminder peoples, we are talking about a former RAILWAY here, not a street, not a cable tram or even a tram in the steeper parts of Sydney. The main restriction for railways are hills, trains don't like them. No gears remember also steel on steel adhesion is pretty poor and part of the reason railways move bulk materials with far less energy than road.

Yes 1:30-40 grade is not flat, but these RT's are in mountainous areas so goes with the territory and probably a good reason you don't build just one RT  at Batlow and cross your arms. People who are that physically challenged could use an electric bike, consider going one way down hill, take longer, go in cooler months, include more rest stops, go to a flatter section etc etc. Again Otago anyone.....
  djf01 Chief Commissioner




If you think some closed Rail Lines are too steep for Walkers and Cyclists, I earnestly suggest you stay well away from "Heart Break Hill'' near Double Bay and the GAP at Watsons bay.
gordon_s1942
The things you learn on Railpage.  I had no idea New South Head road used to be a railway! Smile
  simstrain Chief Commissioner




If you think some closed Rail Lines are too steep for Walkers and Cyclists, I earnestly suggest you stay well away from "Heart Break Hill'' near Double Bay and the GAP at Watsons bay.
The things you learn on Railpage.  I had no idea New South Head road used to be a railway! Smile
djf01

The trams used to run up new south head road. So it is a rail trail of sorts.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Eastern_trams.png
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The problem is also not that they are steep like heartbreak hill but that they are long constant climbs with many turnbacks over many many kilometres. Electric bikes would definitely be needed for joe average/tourist to climb significantly long climbs. But again it comes back to my point that these rail trails will more likely be community assets rather then tourist attractions.

Maybe the line from Byron bay to Bangalow could be said to be of tourist value and you could do this short bit to see how it goes.

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