Part of the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail.
Part of the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

‘Backyard blitz’ to get the rail trail on track

Work will finally begin on the Northern Rivers Rail Trail's Tweed section, after the State Government signed the $7.8 million funding deed for design and construction.

Vegetation clearing along the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek rail corridor is set to start on Monday starting at Wooyung Rd working north to the Murwillumbah Railway Station.

NSW Treasury signed a deed providing $7.8 million towards the Tweed section of the rail trail on December 17.

The council now has $14.3 million to complete the local section of the rail trail as the latest funds add to $6.5 million in federal funding from 2018.

This adds to $600,000 from the NSW Government to promote, operate and embellish the Tweed section for the first three years.

The council can now complete the tender process to award a design and construct contract for the section this year.

Clearing will allow the four preferred construction companies to access and inspect the rail infrastructure to prepare their design and costings for the proposed rail trail.

A small six-tonne excavator with a mulcher and flail mowing head will be used to clear the vegetation, working from 7am to 5pm Monday to Saturday for about four weeks.

Some weed-spraying work will follow across the cleared area.

Rail trail project manager Iain Lonsdale said the rail corridor has remained in the ownership of Transport for NSW.

"Which was important to our elected councillors who wanted to preserve public ownership of the corridor in case it was needed in the future for a public transport option," he said.

Mr Lonsdale said the council would hold its first design workshop with its four short-listed construction companies on January 21.

It also is planning some information sessions for the community to be held around February.