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Author Topic: Casino-Murwillumbah line  (Read 4490 times)

Online ozbob

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Casino-Murwillumbah line
« on: August 20, 2006, 05:34:06 AM »
The Casino-Murwillumbah line is an asset for NSW and the nation.  A commuter service on the line will be in the bests of the residents and the environment.  Many States (eg. Victoria, WA, Queensland) are actively expanding rail networks in recognition of rail as the sustainable solution for the future.  What about NSW?

Quote
'Ghost train' cash chase Toot of fury
19Aug06
NSW Deputy Premier John Watkins deflected the run-down Casino-Murwillumbah train line to the Federal Government yesterday, to the anger of north coast rail lobbyists.

Action group Trains On Our Tracks (Toot) president Karin Kolbe said the State Government was being 'too Sydney-centric', paying lip service to northern NSW while western Sydney received another 121 carriages.

"Based on population, we should receive about 20 of those carriages," said Ms Kolbe.

"But we're not asking for 20. Six, or even four, would be better than what we have now."

Mr Watkins and Tweed MP Neville Newell yesterday visited sections of the mothballed train line at Billinudgel and Bangalow that had been damaged by the floodwaters that swamped northern NSW in June last year.

Mr Watkins made the visit after barbs from the NSW Opposition who claimed the Labor Party had made a Clayton's promise to re-open the line.

Opposition transport spokesman Barry O'Farrell said the Coalition could bring back the XPT service to the area for $61 million about $90 million less than the Government's quote.

Mr Watkins said yesterday if Federal Transport Minister Warren Truss agreed to match the $75 million committed by the NSW Government 'work could start tomorrow'.

"They put $30 million on the table a couple of years ago, and they've said nothing since to indicate it's not there," said Mr Watkins.

"All they have to do is make up the balance of $45 million over the next five years.

"We've gone out and inspected the line, and the costings we have are close to the mark.

"I've spoken with the Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator, who determine whether a track is safe to use, and they agree with the costings.

"We've come here to get rid of that confusion."

Mr Watkins said it would cost $20 million to re-open the line, with $130 million over the next five years to replace 169 dilapidated timber bridges and 30,000 timber sleepers.

Mrs Kolbe also doubted the State Government's resolve.

"But if the $75 million is there, let's get working on it. You can re-open the line with $20 million," she said.

http://www.gcbulletin.com.au/news/news.htm 19 Aug 2006

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Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2015, 01:39:32 PM »
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ELEMENTS of Byron are progressing with their plans to reinstate a train along the 3km of track between Sunrise Beach and Byron township, they have said in a letter to local residents.

Elements have sent a letter to property owners close to the track to inform them of current plans, and said they intend to commence work on the track in June.

This is to coincide with the former Club Med/Becton/Byron Beach Resort/North Byron Beach Resort, soon to be known as Elements of Byron, on Belongil Beach.

The resort has received approval is for 193 individual one and two bedroom villas of which 94 villas, along with the central resort and leisure facilities, are due for completion by Christmas 2015.

Byron Shire Council put their support behind the proposal for the light rail service to run between the town and the resort at Belongil back in 2013.

This week, Elements said they are currently restoring a two-car 660 series 100 seater diesel railmotor in its heritage colours in Lithgow - a train which was built at the end of the Second World War and operated by Cityrail on the Hunter Valley line for most of it's former life.

The track work is set to take some months, with Elements having said they plan to have the train running on the tracks before Christmas, in time for the opening of Elements of Byron resort.

The train will be available for use by the general public at a fare of around $3 for a one-way journey.

While they are yet to determine a timetable for services, they have said there will be two train stations - one where Bayshore Drive crosses the existing track near Bayshore Bungalows and another at the top end of town behind the Caltex Service Station and NRMA in the rail corridor.

For residents worried about noise, Elements said the two-car railmotor is relatively quiet at the speeds it will operate, especially on a straight track, however there would be a "suburban whistle" used at the Kendall Street level crossing.

The team said they have been in continual discussion with those formulating the Northern Rivers Rail Trail plans, and said the corridor has "plenty of capacity for the rail trail as well as the train."

The track will continue to be owned by the State Government, with an access licence allowing Elements to use this section of the rail corridor, however, not exclusively.

Elements said they can be contacted for any queries on enquiries@northbyronbeachresort.com.au or on 6685 6561.
http://www.byronnews.com.au/news/work-begin-light-rail-between-byron-resort-and-tow/2628537/

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2015, 02:41:31 PM »
 :-w :o
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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2015, 04:51:38 PM »
Well this is certainly a more intelligent proposal than the foamy ideas to reopen the line to regular commuter trains.  At least this has a useful "living heritage" purpose, like the Nambour tram.
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Offline pandmaster

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2015, 09:18:04 PM »
Good on the resort for getting a rail service going!

Perhaps not a commuter service, though surely the tourist numbers to Byron bay could justify a regional service to/from Brisbane. A rail service would fit well with the "green" aspect of Byron Bay. If the connection to the GC line at the airport were built then Tweed Heads and perhaps a little further south would justify commuter services. As long as the corridor is preserved I am happy (sorry to the rail trail folks).

Offline Set in train

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2015, 02:51:53 PM »
NSW Govt released a report in the last four years, reccomendations of which were increased bus public transport instead of reinstating the train.

New bus services have not happened.

It is still impossible to travel between Mullumbimby/Brunswick Heads/Ocean Shores to Murwillumbah/Pottsville.

Simply: there are new services that bridge the gap between Tweed and Byron Shires.

Have a look at the cost of a private bus from the Gold Coast Airport (Coolangatta) to Byron Bay, ridiculous.

That's just the start, many other links in the Northern Rivers to fill where there is no public transport option.

None of this will happen, the Greens won the Ballina seat which includes all of that shire + Byron Shire. The seat will be ignored.

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2015, 03:14:18 AM »
Echo Net Daily --> Shame about the train blame game

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It’s a shame people are unable to do some rudimentary research about the proposed train service from Belongil into Byron before rushing into print with misinformation.

The three-carriage rail motor will use exactly the same diesel fuel as the trucks, buses and 4WDs that currently sit for hours in traffic on Ewingsdale Road. It’s the same diesel that’s used in the B doubles we are stuck behind on the highway every day. The difference being that the amount of diesel the train will use is miniscule compared to the amount being burned by B doubles and other diesel vehicles. Anyone who has actually travelled on a rail motor knows that they are less noisy than a bus or truck travelling at the same speed. Asbestos has not been used in the brakes of any vehicle in Australia, trains included, for decades.

The train, which will not cost taxpayers one cent, will not be for the exclusive use of the rich. All local residents and visitors will be able to use it. Indications are that people will be queuing up to travel into town by train rather than sit for hours in traffic on Ewingsdale Rd, meaning traffic on the road and in the town will be reduced. Most people think that’s a win for the community and the environment.

Approval to run train services on the line is the sole responsibility of the state government; council has no say in it. The pro-development majority of Byron councillors don’t want to see trains running and they support spending $50m ripping up the line for an expensive cycleway for the exclusive use of a few cyclists.

The northern rivers community (over 15,000 have signed petitions) and TOOT, have consistently campaigned for over 11 years for commuter train services on the C-M line and for the 22ks of line built to connect it to the Queensland line at Coolangatta. The community has always supported a cycleway alongside the line, as they are in the Blue Mountains and the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria. The line goes through eight out of ten of the major north coast population centres and is ideally placed to be the spine of a sustainable public transport system for locals and 4.6 million tourists. It was obvious in 2004 that even if the government had been willing to fund the restoration of the line for the heavy (diesel) XPT train that that train would not provide the sustainable public transport service the Northern Rivers region needs to cope with population growth and 4.6 million tourists.

People are fighting for train services to ensure social equity, to reduce carbon emissions (road transport is one of the biggest producers of carbon) and to try and prevent our beautiful region being carved up by six-lane roads, costing billions, which are inevitably filled with more cars, 4WDs, B doubles and their toxic fumes. No matter how many expensive six-lane roads we build, they eventually all grind to a halt. That’s the pending doom we face. Nothing to do with love of trains or romance.

It’s difficult to understand why people would use fear and misinformation to champion the corporate forces behind the rail trail lobby to try and stop a train service that will benefit so many. It’s a small start, but there’s potential to expand services, and it may help prevent the line being destroyed. Only the extraordinary efforts of the community prevented legislation being passed in 2009 and 2014 that would have removed protection from the line and allowed the line to be destroyed and valuable rail land sold off for development. If the state government is now able to get the legislation passed with Fred Nile’s vote, people could find much worse things plonked outside their back door than a small three car, unobtrusive rail motor.

All the above information is readily available from independent sources.

Louise Doran, Ocean Shores
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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2015, 07:13:34 AM »
I'm not in favour of spending a cent more on the railway.  It meanders away from the population centres and has exceedingly poor alignment apart from the bit between Mullumbimby and Byron itself.  If they were genuine about improving public transport they would have been pushing for higher frequencies and longer hours of operation on the existing bus services in and around the region and for the missing links to be filled in - infinitesimal compared to what would be needed to reinstate the line, or build a more useful one.

I don't know how they expect this new 620/720 operated service to achieve anything meaningful other than providing us with a standard gauge heritage service to enjoy within a reasonable driving distance.
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Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2015, 10:54:19 PM »
http://issuu.com/echopublications/docs/byronecho3013/11?e=2296014/15285640

  • Hourly shuttle Sunrise Beach - Byron 7:30am - 10:30pm
  • $3 one way
  • Two platforms to be constructed - Bayshore Drive and Shirley Street. Not sure why they don't just use the old Byron Bay station, I suspect either because of the extra level crossing and/or the maintenance required to get the station up to standard. Platforms will be DDA compliant.
  • Diesel cars but the intention is to convert them to solar
  • Potential future park n ride

Offline Gazza

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2015, 09:26:42 AM »
Solar? Really?

Old railmotors are typically pretty big heavy beasts....I'm not sure how you'd go in terms of the amount of batteries and the size of the panel array to get the thing to actually roll.

For example, the Tindo bus in Adelaide is 10 tonnes, a railmotor is closer to 40 tonnes.

Online ozbob

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2015, 12:25:19 PM »
Maybe they will be electric (battery) vehicles,  recharged from solar charged battery set up?
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Offline petey3801

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2015, 12:29:17 PM »
Yeah, not sure how they will go about converting a 60-odd year old diesel railcar (AFAIK they are using a 660/720 set from Lithgow) to Solar, but I certainly wish them all the best!
Regarding the use (or lack thereof) of using Byron Bay station, by what I have been told, the Council/RTA/Whatever authority has denied them permission to use the level crossing on the north end of the station, unfortunately.
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Offline red dragin

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2015, 12:30:57 PM »
Given a 3 minute run, every hour, it might be doable. Dropping the large diesel motor's, gearboxes etc will drop some weight.

Fine by me as long as it doesn't go all Simpson's Monorail on us  ;D

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2015, 12:07:07 PM »
For Byron Bay I reckon this should do the trick.  It has pedals, even Tony might like it ... just add a basket to carry a few lumps of coal and it'll sell itself.



Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2015, 01:51:40 PM »
https://au.prime7.yahoo.com/n1/news/a/-/local/29617051/train-set-to-transport-byron-visitors-video

Quote
A new resort will mean a new mode of transport at Byron Bay.
They're going to run a train service on tracks that haven't been used in over a decade.

Online ozbob

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2015, 02:55:12 PM »
The Australian --> Byron Bay on line again, and resorting to rail
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Offline ghostryder

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2016, 10:40:36 AM »
 bit about the set up at Byron Bay.

http://northbyronbeachresort.com.au/rail-shuttle/

Offline ghostryder

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2016, 11:31:13 AM »
There has been a Facebook page set up by a group of individuals who feel that there is no room or need for a toxic diesel train to be running on the line, they have even claimed the noise will be deafening and intrusive. Guess they have not heard or had a nigThey think one train every 20-30 minutes is too much and will be too nosiey.

Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2017, 08:23:22 PM »
New website has been launched for the Byron Bay train. No start date mentioned but from what I've heard it's meant to commence around April

http://byronbaytrain.com.au/

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2017, 02:18:21 AM »
 :-t :-c
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Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2017, 07:19:01 PM »
A petition to reopen Casino to Lismore has been started

Quote

Re-open the 30 kilometres of currently unused rail line from Casino - Lismore and extent the existing Casino XPT service to Lismore City for the benefit of the young, elderly, tourists and those wishing to travel between areas in a safe and a more environmentally friendly way. This would mean residents of Lismore could travel by train directly (no need for connection busses) to Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Taree, and the suburbs of Sydney. Residents could also travel to Kyogle and Brisbane by rail without the need to wait and change for a coach service.

The City of Lismore is a major regional NSW city. It's population being 30,000+ and growing rapidly. Lismore is part of the Casino - Murwillumbah rail line, services on which were suspended in 2004. The line connected Lismore, Byron Bay, Bangalow, Mullumbimby and Murwillumbah plus everywhere in between.

However since 2004, the Northern Rivers region has relied heavily on road based transport such as cars and busses. This has left the usually bad roads even worse, with local councils struggling to maintain these roads and keep all at a respectable level. This means the cost to maintain the roads not only soars, but the cost for road users associated with suspension and repairs for damage inflicted by the roads also heightens.

Lismore is the biggest city in the Northern Rivers region, and the rail service replacement busses operating out of the former railway station to the Casino Railway Station on the NSW North Coast Line are often always full as there is a real demand for a Casino - Lismore connection.

It makes logical sense to connect a major city such as Lismore with a rail service, especially when the existing rail line is in very good condition, with little work needed to get it to mainline condition and the existing bus services are operating near full, and usage could be dramatically increased with the convenience and luxury of a train.

With the 2018 Commonwealth Games rapidly approaching, this could be a lifesaver to local roads as the forecasted traffic for the region will be horrendous. To re-open this line would only take months, not years as we already have the infrastructure which only is in need of some small upgrades to be back in action.

The prospect of a rail service along the line means the tracks are safeguarded and, should a group or organisation see fit, the tracks along with the wider rail line could easily be used for local commuter rail shuttles.

https://www.causes.com/campaigns/106251-re-open-lismore-casino-rail-line-and-extend-casino-xpt

Now I would definitely say that they're underestimating how much work would be required to get the line back up and running but I'd also agree that getting the line to Lismore is reasonable and achievable.

Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2017, 11:45:31 PM »
Progress of the new stations. Services commence in June apparently.



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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2017, 01:59:48 AM »
 :-c thanks, interesting ..
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Online ozbob

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2017, 08:56:41 AM »
https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/924346601761415168
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Offline red dragin

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2017, 09:00:41 AM »
Will make for a good day trip once the hype dies down.

Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2017, 07:51:56 PM »
The solar train arrived in Byron Bay today. Some photos are available here: https://www.facebook.com/TOOT4Trains/posts/1518294521596429


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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2017, 04:04:18 AM »
https://twitter.com/nbnnews/status/926353250793570309
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Online ozbob

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2017, 05:06:59 AM »
https://twitter.com/railmaps/status/936785450005442565
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Online ozbob

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2017, 02:23:45 AM »
The Australian --> Peeved locals bid to derail tourist town’s solar-powered train

Quote
A mining magnate appears to have pioneered the world’s first solar-powered railway, but when his train starts whirring past sea-changers’ homes in one of the country’s most environmentally sensitive and exclusive tourist towns, not everyone is happy.

Last month, reclusive rich lister Brian Flannery, who made his fortune in coalmining, began trialling a solar-powered train at Byron Bay in northern NSW.

Operated by Mr Flannery’s not-for-profit Byron Bay Railroad Company, the train runs on old tracks from a newly built platform near his $100 million resort Elements, on the northern outskirts of Byron Bay, into Byron’s central shopping district.

It’s a world first and a huge benefit to the community, the railroad company’s development director Jeremy Holmes said.

“No one has ever powered a 70- tonne train with solar energy and we can do that because we have a 3km flat track and a low-speed return shuttle,’’ Mr Holmes said.

The concept has been embraced by some residents, who despair at the town’s lack of public transport.

“I’ve lived here forever and I don’t have a licence and it’s awesome to have another option for public transport,’’ said 21-year-old local resident Coco Allen.

For others who live close to the tracks in the area known as ­Belongil, the train is an unwelcome intrusion and its approval should be heavily scrutinised.

“The council has washed their hands of it,’’ said resident John Johnstone, head of the Belongil Action Group Association that is protesting against the train’s operations. He said the association believed the main beneficiary was Mr Flannery’s ­resort, which is at one end of the railroad.

Mr Johnstone said association efforts to obtain documents relating to the train’s operating licence from the NSW Transport Department had been stymied. The group fears the train could end up doing 100 passes a day. Legal ­action in relation to environmental regulations is mooted.

“There was no formal consideration of the impact to people and businesses on the line from either Elements or the council,” said action group member, sea-changer and fashion designer Jennifer Bannister, who swapped St Kilda in Melbourne for life in Byron two years ago.

Mr Holmes did not want to respond to residents’ comments but said the train was “very positive for the community, a world-first and a really good service”.

“All we are asking is for people to judge it on its merits,” he said.

The train is about showcasing rail heritage and the timetable was not finalised, Mr Holmes said.

Byron Bay Deputy Mayor Basil Cameron said there was considerable consultation and the train would be a “wonderful experience” for visitors avoiding traffic congestion.

He said council would undertake a feasibility study on reactivating other sections of the line.

A spokesman for NSW Transport said the operating licence granted to the BBRC was “subject to confidentiality agreements”.

Mr Flannery and his wife, Peggy, bought the Elements site for about $18.5m in 2009 and undertook a multi-million-dollar development to create the resort.
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Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2017, 02:08:28 PM »
Official opening this Saturday 16th December: https://www.facebook.com/events/754667664725402/

I intend to be there. What with GCLR2 and NGRs also this month it's a good month for rail fans

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2017, 04:31:24 AM »
https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/941374809404948480
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Online ozbob

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2017, 05:06:27 PM »
https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/946455736954916868
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Online ozbob

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Re: Casino-Murwillumbah line
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2018, 01:38:39 PM »
https://twitter.com/CNET/status/987533885016870912
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