Bike Hire and Great Food on the rail trail at Warburton.
This rail trail is one of Australia's most popular, starting from the end of the metropolitan rail network at Lilydale then heading through increasingly rural landscape to the resort town of Warburton nestled in the mountains.
Recent significant improvements to the rail trail include opening of the long awaitied "Red Bridge" over the 6 lane Maroondah Highway at Lilydale and completion of the link back to Lilydale railway station. Traffic lights are now operational at York Rd, Monbulk Rd. and Birmingham Rd, Mt Evelyn. Trail head Hubs have been constructed at Lilydale and Warburton with seating, bike racks, information boards and water refill stations.
Most of the original station platforms are still present with replica station signage, however many station buildings have been lost through time. The Station building at Yarra Junction is the original building from Lilydale Station and is now a museum.
Lilydale Station, Lilydale. Plenty of car parking and access from the Melbourne Metropolitan Train network.
The Lilydale Hub at the site of the Beresford Rd. level crossing. Car parking available in Creek Rd.
Anderson St. Lilydale. Some car parking available.
Maroondah Highway, Lilydale. No car parking, but an easy-to-find hub for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Old Gippsland Rd. Lilydale. Good car parking available.
Wray Crescent, My Evelyn. The site of the original Mt Evelyn Station has plenty of car parking and community facilities with toilets nearby.
Monbulk Rd. Mt Evelyn. Car parking available.
Warburton Highway, Wandin North. Near the site of the original Wandin Station. Car parking and picnic areas available.
Seville Station, Seville. Car parking available near the original station site on the north side of Victoria Rd. Carriage Cafe is a short walk on the south side of Victoria Rd.
Killara Station, between Seville and Woori Yallock. Car parking available in Kylie Lane. Picnic tables available also.
Woori Yallock Station. Car parking available at the bottom of Syme Rd.
Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Rd, Woori Yallock. Limited car parking beside the road.
Launching Place General Store, plenty of car parking available near the former station site.
Yarra Junction. Plenty of car parking available.
Warburton. Car parking at the former station site the town.
The Warburton railway line was opened in 1901 to ferry farm produce from the Yarra Valley to Melbourne. Timber was also a major commodity being transported on the line after many tramways through the yarra Valley forests were linked with the line at Warburton and Yarra Junction. The line closed in 1965 and the track removed in 1969. Rails are still be visible at some of the level crossings.
An historic bridge near Anderson St. Lilydale is on the original alignment of the road over the railway until the road was moved to the level crossing at the current location. The new Maroondah Hwy bridge has been designed to resemble the original much smaller bridge removed many decades ago.
Future Developments - Extension to Yarra Glen
The Yarra Glen Rail Trail has been proposed for quite a while and is now being strongly considered as an extension of the Warburton Rail Trail from Lilydale. When completed it will allow a real rail trail experience of the beautiful Yarra Valley from the Yarra River at Yarra Glen to the Yarra River at Warburton. This extension will bring the rail trail to over 50 kms in length.
The line from Lilydale to Healesville was closed by the Victorian Railways in 1981. The Yarra Valley Railway has an Order in Council for the Yarra Glen - Healesville section and currently run services between Healesville and one of the major features of the line, a tunnel about 4km away. Reconstruction of the line on to Yarra Glen to connect with the rail trail is underway.
Tragically the impressive wooden bridges across the Yarra River flood plains were burnt to the ground in the February 2009 bushfires. These bridges were almost 500m long and were on the Lilydale side of Yarra Glen. The Yarra Glen rail trail extension would provide a safe and convenient commuting and exercise route to Lilydale for Yarra Glen residents. The rail trail would also complement the Yarra Valley Railway as currently occurs on the Bellarine Rail Trail near Geelong.
The Warburton Rail Trail is managed by the Yarra Ranges Council. Contact them via the link below regarding damage to the trail from flooding or fallen trees, etc. Please note, however, when reporting issues with the trail do not quote the Emergency Marker numbers to identify the location because the Shire's maintenance dispatch system is not compatible. They are for use by Emergency Services only.
The Minister for Conservation, Sherryl Garbut has notified the Warburton Trail's committee that the Government will not to allow construction of the railtrail on the original alignment into Lilydale. A protest rally is being organised on Sunday 19 November 2000.