New England Rail Trail Business Plan

By New England Rail Trail Incorporated

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All aboard our rail trail

Our dream is to use the long abandoned Old Great Northern Rail Corridor for recreation, tourism, events, walking, cycling, grazing and much more - to attract new visitors to our region.

Community organisation New England Rail Trail Inc. (NERTinc) was established to develop the New England Rail Trail.

The trail will be 103kms of purpose-built and maintained pathway between Armidale and Glen Innes in northern NSW.

Once established, the trail will provide a unique, and scenic recreational facility for cyclists, walkers, hikers and runners who can travel through an area rich in heritage and history.

What's in it for you?

  • new access to scenic rural countryside and heritage locations
  • safe, easy and peaceful places to cycle, walk or ride
  • a vehicle free route to visit friends and family and to your favourite café
  • attract visitors and bring new money into the region
  • help create new businesses along the trial - cafes, accommodation, bike hire etc.
  • create local jobs
  • see magnificent wildlife and unique vegetation
  • a great place to get fit and healthy
  • you help diversify the New England economy and attract new businesses to your community
  • you help to showcase our wonderful New England grazing country and extensive railway history

The local economic benefits

Conservative estimates based on similar rail trails and existing visitor numbers to the region indicate:

  • 10,000 new day-trippers visiting the region each year
  • 2,500 existing day-trippers will stay an extra night in local accommodation
  • 2,500 over-night visitors will stay an extra night in local accommodation
  • 5,000 new over-night visitors will visit the region
  • Extra tourism expenditure in the region of over $4 million per year

Why wouldn't any political candidate support regional NSW with figures like these?

What is a Rail Trail?

Rail trails are well-maintained gravel or bitumen pathways along old disused rail corridors which provide a quiet and easy place for cyclists and walkers and to travel and enjoy the outdoors.

They have become a very popular way to attract more visitors to an area, and also allow locals to benefit from improved outdoor recreation activities on a safe, purpose-built trail.

The rail corridor between Armidale and Glen Innes has been closed to trains for over 30 years, and represents a local asset which provides no economic benefit to those communities, nor the villages along the route (Black Mountain, Guyra, Ben Lomond and Llangothlin).

Using the corridor to attract visitors to those towns and villages will once again return it to being a productive economic asset, as well as providing recreational opportunities for locals.

Based on the experiences of other rail trails in Australia and overseas, we anticipate that businesses will be establised and strengthened along the line - cafes, B&B's, retail shops, bike hire and various other businesses to enhance the experience for our community and visitors.

Initially the trail will run between Black Mountain and Ben Lomond in the beautiful high country of New England in NSW, a total of 34 km, the highest rail corridor in NSW at 1,377 metres above sea level. Following the success of this pilot project, it is intended that the trail will be extended to Armidale Train Station and to Glen Innes Train Station (103km in total) with the ability to double the length of trail to South East Queensland at the historic Wallangara Station.

Your support will make it happen

Target - $75,000

We have big hopes. We truly believe in this project and know it will be an amazing success and boost to our region as the recent Trail Development Plan suggests. We believe anything is possible if you're passionate about it.

The full plan can be found here: New England Rail Trail Development Plan

Obtaining government funding for the trail (103km), takes hard work and planning. Governments require detailed business plans and design specifications before they will provide us with funds.

The New England Rail Trail committee, in conjunction with Armidale Regional Council and Glen Innes Severn Council have engaged Regional Development Australia Northern Inland to prepare a detailed Business Plan which can be used to attract government funding for the trail infrastructure (re-surfacing, drainage, fixing bridges, fences, signage etc.).

Both councils have committed funds and we need your support to fund the Business Plan and detailed Trail Development Plans for the Glen Innes and Armidale to Guyra sections.

Your donation will be used to....

  • Develop the business plan for the entire 103km trail
  • Provide more detail on certain sections of the trail for government
  • Help provide key trail instrastructure such as signage

And here’s some amazing perks for supporting

Your donations are gratefully welcomed!

By donating you can be proud in the knowledge that your contribution has helped to boost small rural communities, helped showcase the amazing grazing heritage of our region, and given thousands of individuals, groups and families the opportuntiy to stay fit and healthy and enjoy time in the great outdoors experiencing the beautiful New England Region.

$20 plus will get you listed on our supporters board along the trail.

$100 plus will buy a paver with your name on it.

$250 plus will see your name (S/S etched plaque) on a railway sleeper planted vertically along the trail, this will be complemented by a garden area.

$2,500 plus will enable corporate support to be acknowledged by signage at the major access point of the trail.

On behalf of our community in New England, we are truly grateful for your continued support and financial assistance to making New Engalnd Rail Trail become a reality.

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New England Rail Trail