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Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Foothills of the Great Dividing Range, 165km East Of Melbourne
Start/end: Erica - Park at the recreation reserve to Thomson - follow the track from the end of railweay yard up to the railway formation
Status: Open
Length open: 7km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Terrain: Hilly
Best seasons: All, but can be muddy when wet
Public transport: Train
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Gippsland, Victoria
Walhalla Goldfields Railway at Thomson River bridge
Walhalla Goldfields Railway at Thomson River bridge
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for horse riding
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Details

Features

A short rail trail in beautiful mountain countryside, featuring tall forests and the meandering Thomson River.  An old mining area with the historic village of Walhalla close by.

  • Ride the short tourist railway from Thomson to Walhalla
  • Walk or cycle through steep cuttings with many twists and turns along the old railway formation

Description

Access Points

  • Erica - Park at the recreation reserve.  See the map for details as the trail is a little hard to locate
  • Thomson - Park at the restored railway station, then follow the small road between the station and the river.  Follow the track at the end of the railway yard and climb steeply to the old railway formation

Erica to Thomson (7km)

  • From Erica follow Station Rd past the caravan park on the former station site.
  • Cross the low level bridge over Jacobs Creek and proceed to a cutting surrounded by mountain ash
  • After 1.5km you reach Knotts Cutting (now filled in unfortunately).  Follow the steep track to cross Walhalla - Tyers Rd, and rejoin trail on other side
  • Follow the twists and turns alongside Nelson Ck to the horseshoe bend.  This bend is so sharp that passengers at the back of the train would see the locomotive travelling in the opposite direction
  • A replica station has been built at Platina.  After passing under a road bridge you get great views of the Thomson River valley.
  • Just before Thomson, you need to take a detour around the site of two trestle bridges.

At the site of one of the missing bridges about 1 km before reaching Thompson, there is a steep drop-off on a sharp bend with no warning signs or safety fence.

For more information on this trail see the book Rail Trails of Victoria and South Australia.

Background Information

Gold was discovered at Walhalla in 1863, and created an impetus to build a railway.  A campaign started in the 1880's, but it wasn't until 1910 that a narrow guage line was built from Moe to Walhalla.  However by the time the line was finished, the gold had started to peter out, and the miners used the railway to leave the area.  The line was closed in stages, and the final section from Moe to Erica was closed in 1954.  The wonderful concrete and steel bridge at Thomson was almost used by the army for demolition training, but a campaign by the Walhalla Goldfields Railway group finally succeeded in overturning that decision.  The railway is open between Thomson and Walhalla with a collection of completely restored rolling stock, and bikes can be carried on board.

Links

Visitor Information Erica General Store Ph: 03 5156 3209

Walhalla Goldfields Railway Ph: 03 5126 4201 or www.walhallarail.com

 

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Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here: gippsland@railtrails.org.au.

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