Glen Innes Severn and Armidale Regional Councils have a collective desire to revitalise the rail corridor between our cities, taking what is a unique and underutilised asset and turning it into one that generates economic growth through increased tourism and employment for the towns and villages in the region. It has been calculated that the New England Rail Trail will attract 15,000 new day visits and 14,000 new overnight stays to the region annually, as well as being used by around 37,000 local residents. This will generate more than $5.8M of additional visitor expenditure each year. The additional expenditure will lead to the creation of 26 new full-time equivalent jobs once flow-on effects are included (REMPLAN 2019).
Opportunities will arise for new businesses to establish along the trail (accommodation, cafes, bike hire), creating new local jobs. In addition it is estimated that over 37,000 locals will make use of the trail and reap the associated health benefits. Several small communities along the route will benefit from increased visitation. Council’s enthusiasm for this project was reflected by the decision at the Ordinary Council Meeting October 28, 2020. In this meeting it resolved to ‘delegate the General Manager authority to seek funding jointly, or separately between the two councils.' The New England Rail Trail project aligns with the Armidale Regional Council Delivery Plan 2018-2021 “The visitor economy generates additional revenue and employment to boost the local economy and creates opportunities for more vibrant cultural activities’.
In February 2021, Council resolved to apply for funding from the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to construct the New England Rail Trail within its Local Government Area - a 67.5 km section of trail from Armidale to Ben Lomond. If successfully funded, it will join the proposed section of trail between Ben Lomond and Glen Innes.
If you have a question send it to us here (questions will be posted back to this forum via this link).
New England Rail Trail Fact Sheet (PDF 679KB)
New England Rail Trail Business Case (PDF 3.7MB)
New England Rail Trail Biosecurity Risk Assessment and Biosecurity Implementation Plan (PDF 451KB)
Feasibility Study Armidale to Tenterfield Railway (PDF 224.3KB)