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Background

Rail Trails Australia has been established as a national organisation to fight for the conversion of suitable abandoned rail lines to multi-use rail trails. Similar groups operate in Canada, New Zealand, England and other European countries.

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 a 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 server 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.