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Total funding of $670,000 has been provided, with $300,000 from Regional Development Australia Fund, and $370,000 being leveraged from other sources.  This project will see five heritage station sites along the iconic 40 kilometre Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail transformed into visitor nodes—places that will attract users and the local community to gather socially, recreate, relax and picnic. The nodes will include seating, shade, access to water, landscaping, bike racks and interpretive and way-finding signage. The Lilydale and Warburton nodes at the entry and exit points for the trail will be further enhanced with gateway signage and iconic art installations.

The Rail Trail is a prominent recreational and cultural tourist attraction in the Yarra Ranges region, preserving the cultural heritage and environmental values of the old railway reserve and attracting over 200,000 walkers, cyclists and horse riders each year. It is a primary shared-use trail connecting the local townships and visitors to nature-based recreation activities in the Upper Yarra. Each node will take advantage of the unique environments which surrounds them. Art installations featured at the nodes will bring them to life by incorporating people statues, harking back to the days when the railway line was thriving.

The development of the trail with much improved features will attract higher numbers of visitors to the Yarra Ranges region and diversify the tourist product of the area.

This project will attract a wide range of tourists and community members to the region, and will target special interests including history and rail enthusiasts, cyclists, walkers and horse riders. Academic research findings accessed by the Shire Council demonstrate that 'walking and cycle tourists are a high yield and high spending market', and that the average spend per person per day in 2009 was $244. This is a market the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail seeks to accommodate and attract. The project will generate 30 construction jobs and five ongoing positions on completion.

For further information on this project click Project PDF

To see the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail click HERE