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East Gippsland Rail Trail

Bairnsdale to Nicholson

In the next few weeks, this section of the trail will be sealed using a light bituminous seal similar to that used on the Murray to the Mountains trail. This section of the trail receives the highest use and will make the trail more accessible to families and users of road bikes.

Bruthen to Nowa Nowa

The trail is currently open between Bairnsdale and Bruthen. Work is well under way on the next section to Nowa Nowa. This section runs through the Colquhoun Forrest and will provide contrast with the existing sections of the trail which primarily run through rolling farm country with views of Lake King. Work on much of the new section has been performed as part of the construction of the Eastern Gas Pipeline that has been layed underground along the former railway formation. This has allowed the work on the trail to be performed much sooner than it would otherwise, however it has resulted in a 20 metre wide strip cleared through the forest beside the trail.

A feature of the new section is a spectacular trestle bridge. Although it will not be open to trail users, they will be able to view the bridge from a viewing platform at one end as well as from the bypass trail that passes below the bridge.

This spectacular trestle bridge will be a feature of the next section of the trail. The railtrail will follow the path on the right hand side of the photo to bypass the bridge. The gas pipe line has been layed in the area between the path and the bridge.
This spectacular trestle bridge will be a feature of the next section of the trail. The railtrail will follow the path on the right hand side of the photo to bypass the bridge. The gas pipe line has been layed in the area between the path and the bridge. Photo credit: Alexander McCooke

The new section is expected to be open to a basic standard by October with signage and facilities to be upgrades over time.

Gippsland Plains Rail Trail

Some short sections of this trail are now being used by locals however the restoration of bridges is currently preventing an official opening of this trail.

Looking along the old railway reserve between Glengarray and Toongabbie on a foggy winter morning.
Looking along the old railway reserve between Glengarray and Toongabbie on a foggy winter morning. Photo credit: Alexander McCooke

Great Southern Rail Trail

The South Gippsland Shire Council has submitted a $1.6m funding bid in the Community Support Fund to complete Stage One of The Great Southern Rail Trail between Leongatha and Foster which would be a total of 40km with a potential to link to Wilsons Promontory. There is the potential for the railtrail to become a worldwide known tourist attraction with this connection to The Prom"; the trail will provide a safe place to walk or ride, travelling through the lush green hills of South Gippsland with farmland and townships, views of Wilsons Promontory National Park, Bass Straight and Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Park.

Many people have helped by writing letters of support for the railtrail and signing petitions. Special thanks should go to Dianne Love, Eric Cumming, Glenda Pitkethly and Glen O'Neill. The friends group have spent many hours on the petition to try and give this submission the best possible chance of getting the funding.

... based on information provided by Glen O'Neill

Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail

Interpretive signs have now been placed along the trail at sites of historical interest including the site of a spectacular derailment in 1915, Platina station and the Thomson bridge. Directional signage has not yet been provided making the start points of the trail difficult to find.

Interpretive sign at Thomson as a modern day tourist train crosses the bridge. The railtrail runs from Erica to Thomson while the railway operates from Thomson towards Walhalla.
Interpretive sign at Thomson as a modern day tourist train crosses the bridge. The railtrail runs from Erica to Thomson while the railway operates from Thomson towards Walhalla. Photo credit: Alexander McCooke

Gippsland Rail Trails Newsletter

Bob Yeates (President of the East Gippsland Rail Trail Committee of Management) and Glen O'Neill are planning to produce a Gippsland Rail Trails Newsletter which would combine together the newsletters of the Gippsland Trails.

A Gippsland Rail Trails Web Site is also planned with accommodation guide, business directory, contacts for both friends groups and committee of managements events, detailed railtrail information and maps.

It is hoped to hold a Gippsland Railtrails Conference in the next couple of months to discuss ideas and find out what's happening both in Gippsland and across the State for railtrails.

... based on information provided by Glen O'Neill