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Tyers Junction Rail Trail

Type: Tramway trail
Location: Gippsland, 30km north of Moe, 160km from Melbourne
Start/end: Collins Siding to Tyers Junction
Status: Open
Length open: 11km
Surface: Compacted earth
Terrain: Hilly
Best seasons: All, but can be muddy in winter
Public transport: Bus
Features:
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for horse riding
Riding the trail (2005)

Riding the trail (2005)



Features

This trail is a favourite for enthusiasts who like mountain biking or walking in the bush. The trail passes through rainforest, fern gullies, messmate and stringybark forest, and there are plenty of birds, mammals and seasonal wildflowers. Expect fallen trees across the trail and watch out for snakes in summer.

Unfortunately this rail trail has been lacking attention from the managers recently and is quite overgrown in sections, and muddy in winter; one for the off-road enthusiasts.

Options

  • From Tyers Junction, explore the walking tracks along the eastern and western branches of the tramway.
  • The most interesting walk is along the Eastern Tyers River. These trails are less developed and are suitable for walking only. Ask at the Caringal Scout camp at Tyers Junction for further directions.
  • The Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail is nearby.Petersons Lookout in Tyers Park has views of the Tyers Gorge and Latrobe Valley from a viewing platform and also picnic facilities.

Description

Access Points

  • Collins Siding: look out for Telbit Road on the left a few kilometres before Erica, also signposted to the Caringal Scout camp. The trail begins 20m north of Telbit Road just after the last house.
  • Telbit Crossing: look for the trail markers where the trail crosses Telbit Road.
  • Tyers Junction: the trail to Collins Siding starts near the Caringal Scout camp office, just above the main road.

Collins Siding – Tyers Junction(11km)

  •  From Collins Siding, follow the trail downhill through mountain ash forest towards Tyers Junction.
  • Where former railway bridges are missing, the trail goes in and out of creek beds.
  • The trail meanders through the forest, passing tree-ferns and common heath in bloom in late winter and spring
  • .Look and listen for lyrebirds, kookaburras and fan-tailed cuckoos, common in the area.
  • Swamp wallabies, brown antechinuses, koalas and echidnas may also be seen
  • The trail passes farmland to the east and before meeting Telbit Road After crossing Telbit Road, continue below the road for approximately 1km before coming back to the road.  Here the road has covered the railway formation for a short distance.
  • The trail resumes on the eastern side of the road.
  • Along the way, look for the remains of Christies bridge.The trail finishes at the edge of the scout camp.
  • Enjoy a picnic by the river before returning to Collins Siding either on Telbit Road or the trail.

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

Background Information

The Tyers Valley Tramway was a narrow gauge timber tramway built by the Forestry Commission of Victoria to exploit timber resources on the slopes of Mount Baw Baw, Victoria. The tramway met with the Victorian Railways narrow gauge line from Moe to Walhalla at Collins Siding, and was built to the same 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge.  The tramways serving the Tyers Valley were largely destroyed by bushfires in 1926. Rather than rebuild the private tramways, the Forestry Commission, a government body, decided to construct a higher quality tramway to serve all the private sawmills in the district.

The tramway used secondhand 40 lb rails from Tasmania. It had a maximum grade of 1 in 30 (3.33%), and the curves a minimum radius of 80 ft (24.38 m). No ballast was used, however greater use was made of sleepers than was normal.

The tramway route extended 6.1 miles (9.8 km) from Collins Siding to Tyers Junction, where the line divided to follow the two branches of the Tyers River.

The tramway closed in 1949, and the Climax moved to the Government sawmill at Erica. The Climax was subsequently preserved on the Puffing Billy Railway, along with one of the TALC tractors.