Northern Tablelands MP, Adam Marshall, has tried to reassure campaigners who want trains back on the Armidale to Glen Innes (and beyond) line that conversion to a “rail trail” wouldn’t block any future resumption of rail services.
Mr Marshall was urging people in Guyra to attend a consultation meeting to discuss turning the disused railway line into a tourist trail for hikers and bikers. There has been opposition, particuarly in Guyra, to the project from some land owners and from train enthusiasts.
Mr Marshall said: “If rail was ever to come back, then the rail trail would have to go.”
The issue arises because technically the line is not closed in law. It is disused but legally still a railway line.
Those who want trains back argue that conversion to a “rail trail” would be irreversible. Once it's gone, it’s gone. Mr Marshal denied that. It was, he said, a “re-purposing” which could be reversed.