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’.
Armidale Regional Council successfully secured $5,410,000 through the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants to commence construction on the New England Rail Trail.
To finance the complete 67.5km section from Armidale to Ben Lomond, Armidale Regional Council has submitted an additional application for grant funding through the Building Better Regions Fund Round 6.
Glen Innes Severn Council received funding through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery fund to the value of $8,700,00 for the Glen Innes to Ben Lomond section of the New England Rail Trail
New England Rail Trail - Trail Development Plan (PDF 20.8MB)
New England Rail Trail Fact Sheet (PDF 679KB)
New England Rail Trail Business Case (PDF 1.7MB)
New England Rail Trail Biosecurity Risk Assessment and Biosecurity Implementation Plan (PDF 451KB)
Feasibility Study Armidale to Tenterfield Railway (PDF 224.3KB)