Rail Trail News: Northern Rivers & Boorowa Galong Rail Trails

Casino & Boorowa, NSW

Work as begun on the most south-western end of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail in NSW, coinciding with news that initial patronage at the other end of the NRRT has far surpassed expectations.

Richmond Valley Council started construction of the Casino to Bentley section earlier this month, including the entry to the Old Casino Railway Station and a trial section of trail pavement.

According to the trail’s management body, NRRT Inc., the corridor has been cleared for the stage and Richmond Valley Council is putting the finishing touches on a conservation plan for the railway station.

The Old Casino Railway Station will be the southern rail head for the full NRRT, which is proposed to stretch 132km from Murwillumbah to Casino.

People riding bicycles on rail trail
More than 70,500 people have used the first section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek, since it opened in March. Photo credit: Tweed Shire Council.

Stage 1 Patronage Doubles Forecasts

At the northern end, Tweed Shire Council this month released data showing more than 70,500 people have used the first section of the NRRT, from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek, since it opened in March.

The figures, calculated using counters strategically placed along the 24km section, substantially exceeded the original business case which estimated around 27,000 people would use the NRRT annually.

While that equates to 9,000 people per month, the actual patronage has averaged 17,638 for each of the first four months.

Tweed Mayor Cherry said these figures should provide confidence to the NRRT’s other member councils – Richmond Valley Council, Lismore City Council and Byron Shire Council – who are all either committed or considering connecting to the rail trail for the benefit of the broader Northern Rivers community.

“With these impressive patronage numbers has also come confirmation that 87% of trail users have used an associated rail trail experience and spent money with a local business, whether it be one of the many cafés, restaurants, accommodation providers or bike-related businesses such as hire, shuttle or transport services,” Councillor Cherry said.

Cr Cherry said people loved the rail trail because it offered a free, safe, accessible and family-friendly recreational activity, allowing residents and visitors to remain healthy, active and connected.

Data from the trail has also shown:

  • More than 94% of rail trail users are likely to return.
  • 60% of rail trail users start their journey at Murwillumbah Railway Station.
  • More than 85% of users opt for round trips over a one-way journey.
  • More than 80% of users spend an average of two to 5+ hours on the rail trail.
Rail trail
An old bridge on the proposed Boorowa Galong Rail Trail route. Photo credit: Boorowa Galong Rail Trail Committee.

Fundraising for Boorowa Trail

Boorowa Galong Rail Trail Committee has launched a fundraising appeal to make its proposed 27km rail trail a reality in the Hilltops region of NSW.

The GoFundMe campaign comes as the committee looks to prepare a development plan for the Boorowa Galong Rail Trail.

A feasibility study, produced by Mike Halliburton Associates, found the proposed trail would be economically viable and would bring a number of beneficial impacts on the region.


  1. Andrew on 19th August 2023 at 2:25 PM

    One really has to wonder if these figures are a true figure or have they been fudged.
    I guess the only true way to know just how many are riding on these rail trails is to have a camera to film and then provide the correct figures.
    It really was a shame that they did remove the line from casino as a tourist railway could have provided more access to show people the area rather then a few people who can ride a bike.

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