President of the New England Rail Trail Committee David Mills thinks the reality of our existing rail service bringing in tourists to experience a rail trail between Armidale and Glen Innes is significantly more likely to become a reality.
David said the committee had been very busy since the completion of its feasibility study with significant milestones being reached in the planning process.
"That study indicated some very positive outcomes on returns on investment and the user numbers. So, we were certainly invigorated to push forward," he said.
"The milestones were the challenge of successfully completing a bio-security report specific to our region and also a risk assessment plan on the corridor to also present to council.
"We're about to embark on our business case, and we've selected a company that is prepared to do it, and in order to finance that due to council's decision not to commit any more funding back in October, we are about to embark on a crowd-funding campaign."
David said he held high hopes for the crowdfunding effort.
"We're not prepared to give up by any means because there are no other alternatives there, with the government committing to the Inland Rail and the totally underutilised coach service north.
"We hope to bring more passenger through the current train service ... and we can see that there are some fantastic benefits."