A proposal has been put forward for a light rail line to be run from Urang Creek on the western side of the island to Poyungan Valley on the Eastern side. FoEA disagrees with this proposal.
A light rail system operated on the island from approx. 1905 to the mid 1930's. This rail line was used to haul timber out of the forest to log dumps on the western coast.
Fraser rail lines
The proposal being put forward is to use the section of these old lines, last used in 1913, as a base for a tourist train.
Supposedly planned to reduce the number of 4wd's on the island, at first glance the project appears to offer enhanced environmental protection to the fragile ecological system of the island. However a closer look suggests this is not the case.
This proposed project will have a huge impact: It will require a new mooring facility and instead of reducing the number of tourists will spread them out over a much larger area.There will be no removing of existing infrastructure ,so it really just means that there will be more development not less.
The proposals preferred option is for a 3 carriage light rail system to take people from Urang Creek to Poyungan Valley. A new jetty would have to be built out over the mud flats on the western end and massive earth (sand) works on the eastern end. Even though the proposal is to use the old tram lines an incredible amount of damage
must be done to the World Heritage area in the construction. There is also the possibility of shops and tourist facilities at the jetty and at Poyungan.
As this is to be a private development in a significant World Heritage area there is indeed a need for concern.
If the project followed existing infrastructure and hence reduced the number of vehicles , including 4wd tour buses, FoEA and other groups would look at the proposal again.