Over on the New England New State Movement Facebook page, David Good posted this photo with the following comment:
Currently, the only train movement north of Armidale on the Great Northern Railway. TPX Trackman Track Vehicles owned and operated by Guyra & District Historical Society Machinery Group Inc, and running services for the Guyra Lamb & Potato Festival on 17-01-2014.
I was taken by surprise because I didn't realise that any part of the Great Northern Railway still survived north of Armidale. David responded:
It's only a couple of km stretch from Guyra, south. It's a crime the Great Northern Railway, north of Armidale has been left unused and rotting!
I have to agree. Construction of the Great Northern Railway was to NSW what the Snowy was to Australia, a huge engineering feat. Unlike Queensland who kept their part of the line open, NSW just let the whole thing rot in the name of efficiency and effectiveness. Now enthusiasts like David and the members of the New England Railways group face an uphill battle in saving anything of our railway heritage.
It didn't need to be like that, it really didn't. I don't think that a New England Government would have allowed it. Even Sydney could have used more imagination in looking at ways to keep the line on a care and maintenance basis to allow other solutions to emerge. The world does change, but once an asset is gone its gone.