ABOUT RAIL TRAILS AUSTRALIA
Rail Trails Australia is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit, organisation that strives for the creation and promotion of a rail trail network across the country.
Rail Trails Australia:
- Advocates for new rail trails and improvements to them
- Promotes rail trails and their use
- Supports and connects stakeholders in current and potential rail trails
- Maintains a sustainable organisation with minimal paid staff and no federal or state financial backing.
We receive no government funding and rely on product sales and donations from the public to carry out our work.
Rail Trails Australia is part of an international movement to develop and promote rail trails. Similar groups operate overseas in countries including the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. The groups are:
- Engaging the community in supporting trail development
- Advocating to all levels of government
- Expanding and marketing their rail trail networks
- Supporting committees of management
- Sponsoring conferences and workshops to enhance skills and assist new rail trail development
- Developing technical documents to assist groups setting up and maintaining rail trails.
Refer to our 2023-2025 Strategy for details of our current and planned activity.
Our vision is for Australia’s disused rail corridors to be protected for their heritage and natural values and enjoyed by the community and visitors for active recreation, such as walking, cycling and horse riding.
- More and higher quality rail trails
- More people using rail trails
- Connected and effective rail trail organisations
- A sustainable, volunteer-led RTA
PRESERVING A VALUABLE ASSET
Many kilometres of disused railway formation, both public and private, are becoming overgrown or returned to agriculture without thought for the future. Many more kilometres likely to close in the future will go the same way unless we act now to save them. We believe they could easily and inexpensively become multi-use rail trails that would link vast tracts of Australia in areas of magnificent scenery. They make perfect walking, cycling and horse riding trails that are easily followed and have gentle gradients. Some are even suitable for wheelchairs and in-line skates.
Such lines can be used for recreation with minimal environmental impact, but only a few disused lines are being expressly preserved as public amenities.
AN IRREPLACEABLE RESOURCE
Australia’s closed railway corridors are an unique and irreplaceable resource, which will disappear if steps are not taken now to preserve the rail line reserves. In times gone by, once a line was closed, the rails were torn up, historic bridges and buildings were demolished, lineside features such as water tanks were razed and the land was carved up or left to revert to bush.
We can set up wonderful trails through beautiful countryside, but we need your help. You can help by becoming a member. You may like to serve as a member of our national committee, or join a local trail group.
We hope to meet you one day, perhaps cycling or walking through the bush on one of our trails.