A revolution for regional rail

1 JANUARY 2003

A symposium held to look at the future of regional rail has called upon state, commonwealth and local governments to seriously examine options to lift the threat of collapse from the regional rail system.

A symposium held to look at the future of regional rail has called upon state, commonwealth and local governments to seriously examine options to lift the threat of collapse from the regional rail system.
 
“Symposium delegates called on governments and industry to work co-operatively towards integrated road and rail systems,” said Associate Professor Ian Gray a principal researcher with the Institute of Land, Water and Society from Charles Sturt University.
 
He was backed by co-host of the event, Andrew Honan from Engineers Australia’s Railway Technical Society. “A business as usual approach to regional rail is not a viable option,” he said.
 
The symposium also called for the planning and co-coordination of transport at the regional level with local participation and control. These solutions require partnerships between local, state and commonwealth governments with all three making long-term commitments.
 
The symposium found that consideration should be given to local railway development initiatives and regulation frameworks appropriate to them. Ed Zombor, a guest speaker from Canada spoke about the Canadian regional rail system which has seen a revolutionary change.
 
“This experience shows one way forward. It has brought significant local and regional development and should be adapted and applied in Australia,” said Associate Professor Ian Gray.
 
“There is a lot of energy and passion for regional rail in local communities.”
 
 “Integrated regional planning has demonstrated its benefits in other fields and should be applied to transport,” he said.

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