1. I believe rail services have the capacity to underpin the economy of Tasmania well into the future, but it would require good, strategic investment, not only in rail, but in associated transport networks. I believe trains move high freight volumes with lower infrastructure cost and depreciation rates, however I would like this confirmed through financial analysis. I would be happy to support an expansion of services with such confirmation.
2. As a major asset to my mind it is important that we retain the base rail infrastructure in public hands so we can develop it to our strategic advantage.
3. Yes, absolutely.
4. I believe people will only use public transport if it is convenient to do so. I have long held the view that trains and ferries will only be used if there are appropriate services that are made available at the nodes (i.e. where cars are parked and then people use trains, ferries or buses for the final leg of their journey). Child care services would be a prime example. This would encourage people out of their cars.
5. I think the NS rail is a real asset, however a proper strategic plan is required in order for a service to be viable, given the population level. Nodal services once again need to be developed first and then buses could be used to satisfy initial demand, followed by rail services once the demand for public transport has been lifted. A clear strategy is needed. The rail line could be used for tourism through the use of restored trams, from Hobart to MONA and return, stopping off at the botanical gardens. People could go up by ferry and back by tram, or vice versa – a real experience for tourists.
6. No to a monorail. I would need to see further detail re the “pods” so I could appreciate how they may operate. I support a tram to North Hobart as it would act as a great little tourism asset from the waterfront, connecting two major lifestyle assets. I would support a funicular railway to the top of Mount Wellington, but no road closure to make it happen. I do not support a cable car as it would dominate the summit and take away from the natural aspect of our great mountain.
7. See #4.
9. Yes. However they need to be properly negotiated and well thought through.
10. I feel we need to have a bicycle path that follows the rail line wherever it goes. It is the flattest route between two points. Small towns would benefit from increased patronage (Parattah, Tunbridge, etc. etc.) and could provide services to bicycle tourists, including accommodation or camping areas. Tourists could then hop on and off trains at various points as they desired, providing a very pleasant experience and one that would most definitely bring others in their wake.
Bicycle escalators could be provided on certain steep hills, similar to one in NZ I believe (Nelson?). Mount Stuart residents could benefit from one on Mellifont Street perhaps.
Also, looking into the future we find a monorail of a different kind, shown here. I’m not sure it’s the best outcome from a streetscape perspective but may lower the health bills!
Tasmania could also be home to one of the greatest little train trips in the world. Imagine travelling from the docks in Hunter Street to Zeehan, or wherever the rail line reaches. It could stop at Ross and other locations on the way. Private endeavour would soon find a way of utilising our present heritage assets to advantage, without degrading them.