Northern Rivers Rail Trail – Lismore to Bentley section

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The Northern Rivers Rail Trail (NRRT) is converting the disused railway line that was abandoned in 2004 into a 132km trail, showcasing the diverse towns, villages and spectacular countryside between Casino and Murwillumbah.



May 2024 Update
Northern Rivers Rail Trail - Lismore to Bentley


Construction of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, Lismore to Bentley section is moving ahead despite recent wet weather.

Council is pleased the entire gravel trail surface is now complete for the Lismore to Bentley section. Construction crews are now working on bridges and road crossings, with work starting on the construction of the bridge at Bungabee. Progress on groundwork and drainage is also continuing.

The project team is working on the development of interpretive signage along the track and is appealing to the community to share any cultural or historical information and photographs that may be relevant to the Lismore to Bentley section. Please email railtrail@lismore.nsw.gov.au if you have something to share.

Council held two briefing sessions with local businesses, landowners, and community last week to update on the Rail Trail project, and to share business opportunities to leverage off the Rail Trail. The figures continuing to come out of the Tweed section provide further proof that the Rail Trail delivers great economic benefit, attracting almost 3,000 visitors per week to experience the Rail Trail. Lismore businesses are encouraged to get ‘Rail Trail Ready’ with the Lismore section opening latter this year.

If you would like to understand how your business or idea can benefit, please contact business@lismore.nsw.gov.au. Further information, business interviews and marketing tools can be found at https://yoursay.lismore.nsw.gov.au/bentley-lismore-rail-trail

Funding for the Rail Trail project has been provided by the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.



April 2024 Update

Northern Rivers Rail Trail – Lismore to Bentley

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail is converting disused railway line into a 132 km trail, to draw thousands of visitors each year to explore and discover the natural beauty of the Northern Rivers. Delivered across four stages, the trail runs from Tweed through Mullumbimby and Lismore to Casino.

Construction of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, Lismore to Bentley section is steadily progressing. There has now been 10kms of the track completed, with two-thirds of the gravel trail surface in place.

Transformation of the old rail tracks into the rail trail has commenced at the Lismore Railway Station, with concrete pouring completed this month. Progress has also been made with the construction of sections of the trail where deviations are required to improve user safety and accessibility.

With these updates, the 16.3km Lismore to Bentley section is on track to be delivered in the latter part of 2024.

To share further detail on construction, and answer your questions, we invite you to join us for an onsite Meet and Greet with the project team at the Lismore Railway Station in South Lismore on:

Thursday, 9 May 2024 from 3.00pm to 4.00pm.

Your RSVP is appreciated, as light refreshments will be provided. Please send your name and best contact to railtrail@lismore.nsw.gov.au, or call 02 6625 0500.

The Richmond Valley Tweed section officially opened on 23 March 2024, and has been receiving strong support, attracting daily visitation to Casino and the trail.

Lismore businesses are encouraged to take part in an upcoming workshop designed to maximise the economic benefits of the Rail Trail opening in Lismore later this year. The workshop will be held on 7 May 2024 from 7.30am - 9.00am for enquiries, please email business@lismore.nsw.gov.au.

To subscribe to the Rail Trail Newsletter for updates, trip and travel inspiration, upcoming events, trail activities and more please visit https://www.northernriversrailtrail.com.au



Background

The project will convert the disused railway line which was abandoned in 2004. To be delivered in four stages, the 132km trail is expected to draw thousands of visitors each year to explore and discover the natural beauty of the Northern Rivers.

Funding has been provided by the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund for Lismore City Council to commence on Stage one. This 16.3km section will connect the former South Lismore railway station with Bentley via some of the most scenic rural landscapes in the Northern Rivers.

It will follow the route of the former rail line and be constructed in four stages as it passes through the local government areas of Tweed Shire, Byron Shire, Lismore City and Richmond Valley Shire. The Tweed section was officially opened in March 2023 with the Casino to Bentley section due to be completed in March 2024.

The trail will be a safe and fun way for locals and visitors alike to explore and connect with the natural beauty of our environment. The project will tap into the rapidly growing hinterland tourism market and create exciting growth opportunities for new and existing businesses that support local jobs.

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail (NRRT) is converting the disused railway line that was abandoned in 2004 into a 132km trail, showcasing the diverse towns, villages and spectacular countryside between Casino and Murwillumbah.



May 2024 Update
Northern Rivers Rail Trail - Lismore to Bentley


Construction of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, Lismore to Bentley section is moving ahead despite recent wet weather.

Council is pleased the entire gravel trail surface is now complete for the Lismore to Bentley section. Construction crews are now working on bridges and road crossings, with work starting on the construction of the bridge at Bungabee. Progress on groundwork and drainage is also continuing.

The project team is working on the development of interpretive signage along the track and is appealing to the community to share any cultural or historical information and photographs that may be relevant to the Lismore to Bentley section. Please email railtrail@lismore.nsw.gov.au if you have something to share.

Council held two briefing sessions with local businesses, landowners, and community last week to update on the Rail Trail project, and to share business opportunities to leverage off the Rail Trail. The figures continuing to come out of the Tweed section provide further proof that the Rail Trail delivers great economic benefit, attracting almost 3,000 visitors per week to experience the Rail Trail. Lismore businesses are encouraged to get ‘Rail Trail Ready’ with the Lismore section opening latter this year.

If you would like to understand how your business or idea can benefit, please contact business@lismore.nsw.gov.au. Further information, business interviews and marketing tools can be found at https://yoursay.lismore.nsw.gov.au/bentley-lismore-rail-trail

Funding for the Rail Trail project has been provided by the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.



April 2024 Update

Northern Rivers Rail Trail – Lismore to Bentley

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail is converting disused railway line into a 132 km trail, to draw thousands of visitors each year to explore and discover the natural beauty of the Northern Rivers. Delivered across four stages, the trail runs from Tweed through Mullumbimby and Lismore to Casino.

Construction of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, Lismore to Bentley section is steadily progressing. There has now been 10kms of the track completed, with two-thirds of the gravel trail surface in place.

Transformation of the old rail tracks into the rail trail has commenced at the Lismore Railway Station, with concrete pouring completed this month. Progress has also been made with the construction of sections of the trail where deviations are required to improve user safety and accessibility.

With these updates, the 16.3km Lismore to Bentley section is on track to be delivered in the latter part of 2024.

To share further detail on construction, and answer your questions, we invite you to join us for an onsite Meet and Greet with the project team at the Lismore Railway Station in South Lismore on:

Thursday, 9 May 2024 from 3.00pm to 4.00pm.

Your RSVP is appreciated, as light refreshments will be provided. Please send your name and best contact to railtrail@lismore.nsw.gov.au, or call 02 6625 0500.

The Richmond Valley Tweed section officially opened on 23 March 2024, and has been receiving strong support, attracting daily visitation to Casino and the trail.

Lismore businesses are encouraged to take part in an upcoming workshop designed to maximise the economic benefits of the Rail Trail opening in Lismore later this year. The workshop will be held on 7 May 2024 from 7.30am - 9.00am for enquiries, please email business@lismore.nsw.gov.au.

To subscribe to the Rail Trail Newsletter for updates, trip and travel inspiration, upcoming events, trail activities and more please visit https://www.northernriversrailtrail.com.au



Background

The project will convert the disused railway line which was abandoned in 2004. To be delivered in four stages, the 132km trail is expected to draw thousands of visitors each year to explore and discover the natural beauty of the Northern Rivers.

Funding has been provided by the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund for Lismore City Council to commence on Stage one. This 16.3km section will connect the former South Lismore railway station with Bentley via some of the most scenic rural landscapes in the Northern Rivers.

It will follow the route of the former rail line and be constructed in four stages as it passes through the local government areas of Tweed Shire, Byron Shire, Lismore City and Richmond Valley Shire. The Tweed section was officially opened in March 2023 with the Casino to Bentley section due to be completed in March 2024.

The trail will be a safe and fun way for locals and visitors alike to explore and connect with the natural beauty of our environment. The project will tap into the rapidly growing hinterland tourism market and create exciting growth opportunities for new and existing businesses that support local jobs.

Comments on Concept Design

Please share your comments and feedback about the concept design.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Am so impressed with the detailed plan, well done to all involved. It will be such a fantastic asset for the region!

Sandy 9 months ago

Great design! Having ridden the Otago Rail Trail in NZ, the Canal Du Midi trail in France and most sections of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, I feel that, once completed from Mur'bah to Casino, this is going to be easily the best trail in the world.
I must agree with other comments below about toilets though. It can be a long way between loos, especially for walkers, when you're bustin'!
Also, it could be worth considering better, clearly marked pathways from the Lismore Station to the Lismore CBD over the river via the existing bridges to encourage shopping and accommodation there. Lismore Council should be willing to help with this outside of the Trail budget. A pedestrian bridge, as indicated in the concept, would be terrific and perhaps could be brought forward in the timeline.
As an aside to the trail and to also encourage family visitors to use the trail, do you think the Norco Icecream Factory next door would be interested in having tours of their icecream production lines? In my experience, after a day's ride or walk, you're often looking for something to 'round off' the day. At one stop on the Otago Trail, we went Curling at the local rink - great fun! Tourism and the income arising from it is often a bit of an afterthought by local councils.
Can't wait for it all to be finished!

John L Perry 9 months ago

The design looks pretty good, particularly bridges. My concerns are a lack of water points, lack of shaded areas, lack of connection points with other roads and crown land, no trail connection to Bungarbee State Forest where many people already go mountain bike riding and the route needs better connection to the Lismore CBD. There is also a lack of clarity about where bike hire and bike repair facilities might be situated.

McWilliams 9 months ago

Looking good! Great to finally have a longer section for horses. My only criticism would be proposal to remove half the platform at Lismore. While the extended platform may not be original to the station, it is still part of the history of the heritage-listed precinct and represents the changing demands of the rail in the town. The Tweed section should be looked to for how to reactivate a space while being faithful to these structures and leaving it as intact as possible. I would prefer to see some heritage-style seating and even a 'Lismore' name sign reinstalled on the platform as part of creating a rest stop still connected to the heritage of the precinct and allowing rail trailblazers to interact with this.

NickNacks 10 months ago

Would be great for horse riders to have full access to the trail!

Trailrider45 10 months ago

Please include horse riding

B 10 months ago

Firstly Congratulations on a very detailed concept plan with a huge lot of work and consideration to make this section a winner!! Also well done for including relevant background reports fact sheet etc for participants to review as well.
This project is the best thing for Lismore at the moment!
Some thoughts of mine.
1. Very Pleased to see Cubawee on the RT route. I hope to see a stopping point there with interaction/enterprise developed with the First Nations people there. It would be a point of difference in our section.
2. Why is Back Creek bridge not “in scope”? What are the options in the meantime?
3. 30 km rail trail will be a well received safe route for our older women’s cycling group. Thankyou
4. We will need to encourage and promote exceptional support (in relation to developments) to adjoining residents to provide interest spots/tourism along the trail. We sadly don’t have the many villages that Tweed has to encourage tourists.
5. Very pleased that the railway history will be celebrated on this section. Preservation of rails were practicable adds to the connection to our past too.
6. Surface for riding should be similar to the Tweed section as it seems to stand up to rainfall and is an east rideable trail.
7. Drop toilets or windy loos have been very successful on other rail trails and addresses the perceived need for toilets regularly along the trail.
8. Access from roads were practicable will enhance the usage and provide joining spots for shorter sections and picnic areas.
9. A link to the Lismore CBD from the station via a loop trail on formation between the bridges would encourage more visitation to the CBD and South Lismore. Possibly cheaper than a pedestrian bridges she (although that would be great!)
10. Activation/ reinvigoration of the South bank of the river (Norco area) is well received and will hopefully also incorporate the dairy history of our region and the river./jetty.
11. Distance markers - good to have markers that detail how much further to next significant point (something lacking on Tweed section)
12. Yes tree planting of appropriate species for lack of shade in parts and also wildlife preservation.

Glenys Ritchie 10 months ago

I was disappointed with the Tweed Rail Trail for the following reasons, and hope the Lismore Rail Trail considers these factors in the final design:
1. Cyclists go too fast, and even though the website says pedestrians have right of way, I felt that most cyclists ignored this.
2. Majority of Cyclists did not use their bell to warn walkers they were coming
3. Signs to dismount and walk through tunnels were never adhered to - perhaps because they simply weren't seen by cyclists.
4. The Trail had some historical features but these were not highlighted eg we saw an old distance marker, an old telephone wire pole ( a sign to highlight these, together with a place to rest would have been very appreciated), the tunnels have no information to state their history, some facts on the original construction etc. There was an old bridge that was interesting to look at but had no info.
5. Resting bays on the side of the trail here and there with a picnic table or park bench would have been great.
6. People did not respect the requests to use minimal light and low noise in the long tunnel. Perhaps putting in red lights would help. Some bike lights were very bright - perhaps this is why the bats and glow worms are not there now.
7. Signage was lacking at one end of the tunnel, so if you entered from the other end you didn't see relevant info until you came out of the tunnel.
8. Signage at the lower end of the Trail (Crabbes Creek) was almost non-existent, and we had trouble even finding where to enter the track.

So, please consider having signage that highlights the interesting and historical features along the way, (I'm sure you can find plenty of little bits of history, facts and features) and create a space that respects the needs of people walking and appreciating the whole story, not just those cycling at pace to get from one end to the other.
Thank you.

Stephanie 10 months ago

Great design for a really important project. The rail trail is desperately needed in Lismore to provide safe spaces for people to walk and cycle. The success of the Tweed section shows the trail will help Lismore recover by boosting economic growth. It will benefit locals the most but will also attract visitors to stay in the area
The link to Brantley is vital to connect to Casino but how about starting on the link to Bangalow. That will also be a great ride.

Byrondi 10 months ago

Removed by moderator.

Julie Reid 10 months ago

Very nice but a little sedate. Good for young kids and families. I would like to see the section that extends to meet the Byron section completed as soon as possible. The completed Tweed section is attracting massive visitation and is exceeding all expectations by a significant margin. Lismore needs to move a little faster so as it can cash in on the popularity. Perhaps if the Lismore rail trail was completed end to end it would encourage Byron Shire to get the lead out.

Warwick 10 months ago

Removed by moderator.

Julie Reid 11 months ago

I love all aspects of the rail trail concept design and just hope I remain fit enough to one day have the opportunity to share it with the community.
Positive points are the retention of trees between the tracks, the preservation of existing structure and the reuse of solid hardwood rail timber.
Concerns are the species that have been selected for planting, although not "exhaustive". A qualified LOCAL botanist should be engaged to ensure plant species are selected that are endemic to the location and differing vegetation communities.
Major weed infestation, specifically Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) need to be dealt with on the Kyogle Road side of the tracks near Rifle Range Road.
Julie Reid

Julie Reid 11 months ago

Looks excellent, great to see continuity in the design of the NRRT, will add enormous value to the region - well done!

Iain Lonsdale 11 months ago

Looks great. good work.
Suggest to try and use as many of the bridges as you can. get extra money if you need to. Some of the TWEED ones are in high flow flood areas, and will cost money down the track to fix.

Dont forget to plan for toilets! where are they going to be located on the track, especially since there are long stretches with no towns. from the survey at least 10% of people will walk and they are probably over 60.

jamesrobbo 11 months ago

It looks great and appears to follow the principle applied to the Tweed of creating a high standard level path for all ages.
Inclusion of horses is a plus too.

Peter Hatfield 11 months ago

Looks fantastic. Can’t wait for it to be done.

Trailblazer 11 months ago

Overall Concept Plan looks well thought out. Section 6.7 Plants - needs to contain both upper story large trees as listed and medium native flowering small trees and shrubs. The trees could be more distant from the trail so swooping magpies could be better spotted (eg 6-8 metres away) and under planting closer at (3 metres) . There are some beautiful banksias and flowering grevillias etc on another rail trail that are just stunning in flower and help with a cooler corridor microclimate in our warm temperatures..

Diane 11 months ago

When completed the NRRT will be an international tourism drawcard, just like places like Otago in New Zealand. It will also be a treasured asset for the local communities all along the trail.

BCGraham 11 months ago

Less manicured than the first section would be good. A little rustic and adventurous is always more fun and more challenging.

C 11 months ago
Page last updated: 21 May 2024, 02:36 PM