Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study

Through the study we investigated the current and future transport needs of people living and working in the Casino to Murwillumbah study area and the potential connections to the South East Queensland public transport network.

The Transport Study included an investigation of the feasibility, benefits and costs of reinstating services on the Casino-Murwillumbah Rail Line.

This information will inform the development of the Northern Rivers Regional Transport Plan which will help identify the best mix of public transport services to meet transport needs.

The Study

The Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study (pdf 4.3MB) recognised that the Northern Rivers region has unique characteristics and requires short and long term planning to meet the needs of local people, visitors and businesses.

In preparing the Study, the team consulted with local communities as part of evaluating the strategic needs and benefits of public transport in the area, focusing on the role of the 130km long Casino to Murwillumbah rail line which has not been used since 2004.

The study built on the previous work, studies and reports done on the region’s infrastructure and transport services, and investigated the engineering issues, costs and benefits associated with re-instating the rail line, to meet future transport needs of the corridor.

Findings

The Study found that the rail line would not meet current or future transport needs and there were no significant opportunities with freight or tourism that could improve its viability.

It determined that the rail infrastructure has deteriorated significantly, and more than $900 million would be needed to carry out all the work required to ensure the system fully complied with current safety and operating standards for frequent and reliable train services.

The rail line does not serve the major growth corridor between Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay as well as the rapidly growing Tweed region and connections to South East Queensland. Improvements to bus services are much more effective in assisting residents to directly access health, education and social services.

Recommendations

The Study recommends investigating improving bus services to provide more people with frequent, cost-effective public transport to key destinations, rather than reinstating the rail line.

Improvements could include increased services on key routes, better integration of timetables between services, changing other routes to include key destinations such as education campuses and hospitals, introducing new express services on the Pacific and Bruxner Highways and improving passenger information.

It recommends that the rail remain closed with a detailed safety assessment of three rail bridges over public roads at Binna Burra and North Lismore.

The study notes that there is community interest in using sections of the rail line for a rail trail and, subject to stakeholder interest, this could be investigated further to test costs, benefits and feasibility.

Background

Terms of Reference (pdf 133KB) were developed for the study, which responded to community feedback to the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan Link to external site process. The Casino-Murwillumbah study team worked closely with local community members and organisations which had contributed information and suggestions through the consultation process for the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan.

Study Program

Independent engineering consultant, Arup, investigated the condition of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line (pdf 8.4MB), the sleepers, drainage, level crossings, bridges, tunnels and embankments and stations.

Transport for NSW investigated the transport needs of people living, working and visiting key centres in the Casino to Murwillumbah study area. The study team used information from a wide range of sources, including data provided by local organisations. This work also included Household Travel Surveys of residents in Tweed Heads, Lismore, Byron Bay, Ballina, Murwillumbah and Casino.

The study team held informative discussions with local councils, MPs, government agencies, representative organisations and interest groups. It conducted a series of meetings with community and stakeholder groups in the region.

The Arup investigation into potential connections to the South East Queensland public transport network (pdf 2.1MB) looked at physical constraints and opportunities.

Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Executive Summary (pdf 878KB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Final Report - low resolution version (pdf 4.3MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Corridor Options Final Report (pdf 2.1MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment (pdf 8.4MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix A: Node 1 - Casino to Lismore Part 1 (pdf 8.7MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix A: Node 1 - Casino to Lismore Part 2 (pdf 5.5MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix A: Node 2 - Lismore to Byron Bay Part 1 (pdf 5MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix A: Node 2 - Lismore to Byron Bay Part 2 (pdf 9.3MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix A: Node 2 - Lismore to Byron Bay Part 3 (pdf 9.65MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix A: Node 3 - Byron Bay to Mooball (pdf 6.95MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix A: Node 4 - Mooball to Murwillumbah Part 1 (pdf 9.5MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix A: Node 4 - Mooball to Murwillumbah Part 2 (pdf 9.7MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix B: Node 1 - Casino to Lismore (pdf 327KB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix B: Node 2 - Lismore to Byron Bay (pdf 1MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix B: Node 3 - Byron Bay to Mooball (pdf 1.8MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix B: Node 3 - Mooball to Murwillumbah (pdf 4MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix C: Geotechnical desktop study (pdf 4MB)
Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study Conditions Assessment Appendix D-G (pdf 544KB)

See a map of the Casino-Murwillumbah Transport Study Area below.

Slideshow Images (Links below display larger version of images:)
Casino – Murwillumbah Transport Study Area
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