Boyne Burnett Rail Trail – Opening the Dawes Range Section

The opening of the Dawes Range section of the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail in Central Queensland on 11 September 2021 saw over 400 people gather at Barrimoon Siding, near Kalpowar, to enjoy the beginnings of a great new trail.

This part of the trail extends over thirty-two kilometres from Kalpowar down to Builyan, and is a feature section of the yet to be opened complete trail from Taragoola to Gayndah.

Picture L to R: Mayor Matt Burnett (GRC) Minister Glenn Butcher (Minister for Water, Regional Development & Manufacturing) Mark McLachlan (President of BBIRT) Councillor Desley O’Grady, Mayor Rachel Chambers (NBRC)

The trail has five tunnels in the first 1.6 kilometres from the top of the range at Barrimoon, with the sixth and longest about a further 1.7 kilometres down.

It has wonderful views across some quite wild eucalypt and hoop pine scrub country and features a magnificent steel and concrete bridge along with several wooden bridges. All in all, a world class tourist attraction.

Rail trail development in Queensland is usually done as a joint exercise between the state and local governments. This one has been led by a community organisation, Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Inc. (BBIRT). Gladstone and North Burnett Regional Councils have provided support and the State has funded the feasibility study, concept design planning and recently matched $80,000 funding from BBIRT for future works.

Australia’s trails are well on the way to being major international tourism attractions which combined with strong domestic touristism will drive economic growth in unlikely places.

The volunteers who put in over one-thousand-man hours in the weeks leading up to the opening and the businesses and individuals who have donated to the project stand proud and happy with the result, especially with the continued usage since the opening.

With the help of the Dept. of Transport and Main Roads, BBIRT now holds a licence to operate a rail trail on this section and we are pushing on with getting the rest open. (Mark McLachlan, president BBIRT).

View from the rail trail near the top of the Dawes Range, between tunnels

 

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